NATION

PASSWORD

CT High School Principal Cancels Rent

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)
User avatar
United States of Natan
Minister
 
Posts: 3345
Founded: Jul 21, 2012
Democratic Socialists

CT High School Principal Cancels Rent

Postby United States of Natan » Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:14 pm

Last weekend in Connecticut, Trumbull High School’s Thespian Society presented their fall play. On Monday afternoon, instead of a scheduled informational session for those planning to audition for the spring musical, Rent (the school edition), a full meeting of the Thespian Society was called. At that meeting, the school’s principal informed the students that Rent was cancelled.
Trumbull High School

Trumbull High School

Describing the meeting, Trumbull High Thespian Society president Larissa Mark said, “There were a lot of tears from the kids because Rent is so precious to so many of us.” As to how the principal explained his decision, Mark said, “I can’t say I know the reason, because it’s still unclear to so many of us.”

Now at this point, you might imagine this is going to be another story about an authoritarian, puritanical school administration squashing the dreams of helpless students. And that’s where you’d be wrong.

On Monday evening, after completing other commitments, Mark got organized and began to organize her peers. Having seen a raft of comments on social media while she was otherwise engaged, many carrying the phrase “Rentbellion,” she recommended a more measured tone. “I didn’t think ‘Rentbellion’ was going to help our case. We had to create an organized response. I said that students should speak with their parents about this and not act brashly.

“On Tuesday morning, “ Mark continued, “I helped organize a bunch of students with petitions to go around. In the course of two days, we collected 1,516 signatures, which is about two-thirds of our school. On Wednesday, I handed [the principal] the original copies of the signature sheets and surveys we’d done to the Trumbull community. We had asked whether people would support Rent and gave them a chance to make comments. We got over 400 responses and an almost overwhelming number of yesses.”

Mark also created a “Trumbull for Rent” Facebook page (which has over 4000 likes as I write), wrote a letter to the local Patch site (where another student was quoted anonymously), was interviewed by the Trumbull Times and Connecticut magazine and, by Wednesday evening (the night before Thanksgiving, mind you), had spoken with the local ABC and CBS affiliates. This is an impressive campaign even by professional standards, all marshaled by a 17 year old high school senior.

To the students, everything happened suddenly on Monday, but in fact there had been behind the scenes discussions going on since late October. Jessica Spillane, a 17-year-veteran of the high school, the English Department Chair, and English and drama teacher and director of the Thespian troupe and the spring musical, said her first conversation with principal Marc Guarino had occurred, spontaneously, on October 23, when they happened to run into one another. By Spillane’s account, Guarino said, “I just heard yesterday that we were doing Rent as the musical. Did we ever talk about this?” Spillane said she replied, “I don’t know but we announced in August. It’s been on our website since then. It had been announced through daily announcements for two weeks at the beginning of the school year. I said that it’s the school edition.” She said the selection of shows has always been autonomous, not requiring prior approval.

rent school ed“Should I be worried?” Guarino asked, according to Spillane. She replied, “Absolutely not. We’ve got nothing but support. If there are any questions, I’ll handle them.” Spillane says that two weeks later, Guarino met with her to say that the plans to do Rent were “on hold.” Spillane provided him with the script, her conceptual plans for the production, and information on productions at other area high schools, including Amity Regional in Woodbridge and Greenwich High School, as well as the Fairfield Teen Theatre. She also gave him many of the books she had been using as research.

Subsequently, Guarino told Spillane that he had met with his assistant principals and the president of the Parent-Student-Teacher Association. He said he needed to speak with the superintendent. On November 20, Guarino told Spillane he could not support going forward with the production. In an appeal to the superintendent, Spillane was informed that he was backing the principal’s decision. Spillane made the decision to delay informing the students until after the fall play finished over the weekend.

Did Spillane inspire Mark’s campaign? “I told the kids that we [referring to herself and other Thespian advisors] needed to take a step back and not be seen as puppetmasters. The kids said ‘if we’re going to be heard, we need to be rational, respectful, organized and articulate’.”

So where does this all stand?

The first two days of Mark’s campaign resulted in Principal Guarino informing Spillane that he was reconsidering his decision and that he would be speaking with the superintendent when school resumes Monday. Yesterday, Mark said, “We just want to keep people as active as possible because we don’t want to lose any steam over the weekend.”

Now it’s worth noting that Principal Guarino is new at Trumbull High this year. It’s also important to note that he’s not been issuing edicts from on high – after informing the students of the cancellation, he remained with them for an hour to talk about his choice. He is obviously not trying to make this adversarial, and is open to further discussion. No doubt the tone set by the students played a role in this, along with their effective outreach.

I am reminded of a situation in nearby Waterbury a few years ago, when a canceled production of Joe Turner’s Come And Gone was reversed thanks to passionate students and the support of the Yale Repertory Theatre, which helped create educational sessions for students and the community to address the play’s use of “the n-word” multiple times, to place its more difficult themes in a proper educational context. Now the time has come for everyone who loves theatre to lend their voices to the students’ efforts, but with the respect and level-headedness that the students have employed. If you love theatre, like the Trumbull For Rent Facebook page. If you have deep feelings about Rent and its value for students and what it may have meant in your life, share them with Principal Guarino at Mguarino@trumbullps.org. If you are a theatre professional and you are able, offer to go to Trumbull High School and lead workshops for the students and the community. This posting is my offer of that support. But heed the wisdom of Larissa Mark and act with respect.

“I think the main reason why Rent is so important is that homosexuality, drug use and disease are not ‘issues’ in the twenty-first century,” Mark told me, fittingly on Thanksgiving morning. “They’re part of our lives. It’s not fiction to us, it’s reality. The fact that so many people think of it this way is a reflection on our community. Trumbull is a very accepting community and a production of Rent will only reflect that.”

By the way, remember how I mentioned that Mark had a commitment after the announcement of the cancellation which prevented her from springing to immediate action? It was a government class, and she was at the town hall from 3:30 to 10 p.m. Let’s help her and all the students at Trumbull High School ensure they’re able to do Rent this spring. Then let’s nominate Larissa Mark for public office. Imagine what she could do.

Note: Via e-mail, I reached out to Mark, Spillane and Guarino to request interviews at about 3:45 pm on Wednesday afternoon. Principal Guarino did not respond to my request, as he has not responded to any media requests thus far. Should I hear from him, this post will be updated accordingly.

Update, Wednesday December 4 at 8 am: Last night, at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Trumbull Board of Education, a letter from Trumbull High School principal Marc Guarino was read out. In the letter, Guarino affirmed his decision that Rent should not be produced at his school this year. To date, Mr. Guarino has personally made no public statement about his decision since his meeting with students on November 25, declining all media requests. That he would not personally appear to make his final decision known, and to participate in discussion about how he arrived at his conclusion, sets a poor example for public discourse. What at first seemed like it might yield a beneficial dialogue has taken on the air of an edict.

Do you guys think that it was right for the principal to cancel Rent at this school? and what do you think motivated him to do this? Personally, I feel that this principal was wrong, and should allow the students to do the musical. In this era, he has no reason to cancel it, as the subject in Rent are perfectly fine. just because they hold some political controversy does not mean it should be cancelled.

Source: http://www.hesherman.com/2013/11/29/how ... l-musical/
Then it's a lie. Everything Fox News says is a lie.
Even true things once said on Fox News become lies.
(Family Guy: Excellence in Broadcasting)

Mallorea and Riva should resign
95% of people would cry if they saw JUSTIN BIEBER on a skyskraper about to jump. If you're the 5% that would be doing a happy dance, copy and paste this as your signauture.

User avatar
Torisakia
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 11163
Founded: Jun 04, 2011
New York Times Democracy

Postby Torisakia » Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:19 pm

"Thespians" sounds so close to...
The girl in my flag is some bitch who preys after a young teenage boy.

Animes watched(2014-): Attack on Titan, Nisekoi, Death Note, Angel Beats (;_;), WataMote
Animes currently watching: Akame ga Kill!
Max Barry should resign

User avatar
Farnhamia
Game Moderator
 
Posts: 75148
Founded: Jun 20, 2006
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Farnhamia » Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:20 pm

I imagine he does have a reason for the cancellation and I'd like to know what it is. On the face of it, I suspect he's gotten pressure from parents through the school board. Principals serve that their pleasure and no one likes losing their job.
In support of Arch
The real question is how can you be a man and not be a feminist? ~ Neo Art
My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right. ~ Carl Schurz
Also, bonobos.
<Sigh> NSG... where even the atheists are Augustinians. ~ The Archregimancy
My favorite anarcho-capitalist quote: "Im Bendira, ancap troll, nice to meet you"
Two novels can change a bookish 14-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs. ~ John Rogers

User avatar
Farnhamia
Game Moderator
 
Posts: 75148
Founded: Jun 20, 2006
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Farnhamia » Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:20 pm

Torisakia wrote:"Thespians" sounds so close to...

If that's all you have, save it.
In support of Arch
The real question is how can you be a man and not be a feminist? ~ Neo Art
My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right. ~ Carl Schurz
Also, bonobos.
<Sigh> NSG... where even the atheists are Augustinians. ~ The Archregimancy
My favorite anarcho-capitalist quote: "Im Bendira, ancap troll, nice to meet you"
Two novels can change a bookish 14-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs. ~ John Rogers

User avatar
Torisakia
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 11163
Founded: Jun 04, 2011
New York Times Democracy

Postby Torisakia » Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:22 pm

Farnhamia wrote:
Torisakia wrote:"Thespians" sounds so close to...

If that's all you have, save it.

I swear I posted more to that. :meh:

If they had a reason to cancel it, then so be it. If not, it's a dick move. but we all know school principal's like to abuse their power.
The girl in my flag is some bitch who preys after a young teenage boy.

Animes watched(2014-): Attack on Titan, Nisekoi, Death Note, Angel Beats (;_;), WataMote
Animes currently watching: Akame ga Kill!
Max Barry should resign

User avatar
Farnhamia
Game Moderator
 
Posts: 75148
Founded: Jun 20, 2006
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Farnhamia » Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:24 pm

Torisakia wrote:
Farnhamia wrote:If that's all you have, save it.

I swear I posted more to that. :meh:

If they had a reason to cancel it, then so be it. If not, it's a dick move. but we all know school principal's like to abuse their power.

School principals have difficult jobs, having to juggle the concerns of parents, the school board, the teachers and the students. What you see as an abuse of power is one person trying to do their best and not go mad in the process. Principals in and of themselves are not the topic, though.
In support of Arch
The real question is how can you be a man and not be a feminist? ~ Neo Art
My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right. ~ Carl Schurz
Also, bonobos.
<Sigh> NSG... where even the atheists are Augustinians. ~ The Archregimancy
My favorite anarcho-capitalist quote: "Im Bendira, ancap troll, nice to meet you"
Two novels can change a bookish 14-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs. ~ John Rogers

User avatar
Torisakia
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 11163
Founded: Jun 04, 2011
New York Times Democracy

Postby Torisakia » Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:27 pm

Farnhamia wrote:
Torisakia wrote:I swear I posted more to that. :meh:

If they had a reason to cancel it, then so be it. If not, it's a dick move. but we all know school principal's like to abuse their power.

School principals have difficult jobs, having to juggle the concerns of parents, the school board, the teachers and the students. What you see as an abuse of power is one person trying to do their best and not go mad in the process. Principals in and of themselves are not the topic, though.

Okay then.

I go back to my "if they had a reason to cancel it" argument. If the school did, then oh well. If not, then why? Because it's politically controversial?
The girl in my flag is some bitch who preys after a young teenage boy.

Animes watched(2014-): Attack on Titan, Nisekoi, Death Note, Angel Beats (;_;), WataMote
Animes currently watching: Akame ga Kill!
Max Barry should resign

User avatar
Geilinor
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 21336
Founded: Feb 20, 2010
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Geilinor » Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:28 pm

Torisakia wrote:
Farnhamia wrote:School principals have difficult jobs, having to juggle the concerns of parents, the school board, the teachers and the students. What you see as an abuse of power is one person trying to do their best and not go mad in the process. Principals in and of themselves are not the topic, though.

Okay then.

I go back to my "if they had a reason to cancel it" argument. If the school did, then oh well. If not, then why? Because it's politically controversial?

I don't see what's so politically controversial about HIV/AIDS, which is what Rent is about.
Economic Left: -3.88
Social Libertarian: -4.92
United Marxist Nations wrote:
Frisbeeteria wrote:Merged.

We are the Megathread; lower your OP and prepare to be boarded. We will merge your logical and illogical posts with our own. Resistance is futile.

Wisconsin9 wrote:
Nazi Flower Power wrote:No, I faked the moon landing. I had to stop the Americans from mucking around with space travel before they REALLY got to the moon and discovered the secret Nazi moon base.

No you didn't. That was why Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated JFK, remember? The Moon Nazis hired him to take out JFK and thus thwart the Antarctic Nazis from launching an invasion of the Moon. That forced the CIA to fake it.

User avatar
Farnhamia
Game Moderator
 
Posts: 75148
Founded: Jun 20, 2006
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Farnhamia » Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:29 pm

Torisakia wrote:
Farnhamia wrote:School principals have difficult jobs, having to juggle the concerns of parents, the school board, the teachers and the students. What you see as an abuse of power is one person trying to do their best and not go mad in the process. Principals in and of themselves are not the topic, though.

Okay then.

I go back to my "if they had a reason to cancel it" argument. If the school did, then oh well. If not, then why? Because it's politically controversial?

It shouldn't be at this point but who knows? The fact that it was the "school edition" means the version would have been sanitized within an inch of its life. You would think there wouldn't be a problem.
In support of Arch
The real question is how can you be a man and not be a feminist? ~ Neo Art
My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right. ~ Carl Schurz
Also, bonobos.
<Sigh> NSG... where even the atheists are Augustinians. ~ The Archregimancy
My favorite anarcho-capitalist quote: "Im Bendira, ancap troll, nice to meet you"
Two novels can change a bookish 14-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs. ~ John Rogers

User avatar
Ostroeuropa
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 24287
Founded: Jun 14, 2006
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Ostroeuropa » Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:29 pm

Good job parents who oppose Rents message.

Now instead of a chore and something they'll passively "Meh" at, you've turned it into something they will be interested in.

"its banned? This must be a big deal or something."
Special Snowflake Syndrome
A malady affecting a significant portion of the world's population wherein the afflicted will demand special treatment, conduct themselves with a ludicrous, unfounded sense of entitlement, and generally make the lives of everyone around them that much more miserable.

The danger of this disease is that the sufferers rarely, if ever, know that they have contracted it, and continue about their merry way under the assumption that EVERYONE ELSE is the problem.

This condition, if left untreated, can radically alter the carrier's demeanor, to include any of the following: a complete devolution to child-like behavior, temper tantrums, and/or fits of narcissistic rage.

User avatar
greed and death
Post Czar
 
Posts: 40776
Founded: Mar 20, 2008
Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby greed and death » Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:39 pm

I would watch it, but i can not stand musicals.
"Trying to solve the healthcare problem by mandating people buy insurance is like trying to solve the homeless problem by mandating people buy a house."(paraphrase from debate with Hilary Clinton)
Barack Obama


Remove ads

Return to General

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Burleson, Chestaan, Costa Fierro, Ethel mermania, Gidgetisms, Immoren, Jute, Mizuyuki, Napkiraly, National Socialist Republics of Europe, New South Victoria, Stagnant Axon Terminal, Summerset Plains, The Grim Reaper, The Risen Jaguar Warriors, Washington Resistance Army

Remove ads