|Back to July Ed Reporter|
|NUMBER 174||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||JULY 2000|
Examples of Outrageous Classroom Assignments|
My daughter came home from school on May 22 with a note about a play that was to be shown to students in grades one through six entitled "Bang Bang, You're Dead." The note stated that the play was about a school shooting and advised: "This is not a play you can watch and walk away from easily. . . . "
"Bang Bang, You're Dead" is about a young man named Josh who kills five of his friends and his parents. The story takes place the day after the shooting, in the jail cell and in the mind of Josh. Through the characters, the audience views the chain of events leading up to the murders.
There are no guns in the play; however, the audience does get a sense of the violence that takes place.
My wife and I decided to talk with the principal, and urged him not to allow the presentation. He admitted that he had reservations about it, as did the teaching staff. He then called the principal of another local school and was informed that only the 6th grade would see the play at that school. He advised me that he was going to call the superintendent and ask if he could cancel the performance, and that he would do so if permitted. As it turned out, he allowed the performance for the 6th grade only.
My question is, with the media-created awareness of violence today, do we need to bring such a play into our schools?