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Oregon Principal Blocks Jr. High Play

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I think innapropriate and unrealistic standards are worse than inadequate ones. When you have generic standard for all schools in a state or country you are tend to ignore cultural influences on that particular school or even that schools method of teaching. I also cannot stand political correctness what-so-ever. The whole 'can't publicly celebrate Christmas' issue of this past year drove me insane. I heard someone say it best when they said, "Your being offended offends me."

I suppose I thought that 'inadequate' covered "inappropriate and unrealistic standards" but it is good you have emphasised it Insomniac.

I have seen some ridiculous political correctness that would make your hair stand on end.

There is a now a quite old recording of Stan Freberg singing "Old Man River" and a PC inspector keeps interrupting him to make corrections to the words. The first correction was "old" He had to sing Elderly Man River, so as to not offend people who were getting on in years. Then came Elderly person river. Yikes! It's a scream if you can get hold of it.

:lol:

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Probably almost as offensive is that almost nothing that is aired on TV daily, for hours on end, is 'acceptable' for a school play, or even reading material. It would be interesting to find out how this type of thing works in private schools. After all, supposedly the reason for sending one's child there is to have a better education. Maybe the administrators don't cater to the lowest denominator there?

In Australia most of the private schools are part of church organisations so the potential for brainwashing is still there, but somewhat modified towards the religion of the school. There is no doubt that the children in these schools are imbibed with an elitist attitude as well as a 'higher' education. It must be admitted that their students do seem to attain a better standard of education. However our public schools also set high standards.

Both of them however teach within the boundaries of "acceptable" cultural conditioning. The rational questioning of taboos is frowned upon.

The object seems to be to limit knowledge to what is needed for a role in society.

Education that opens the doors of inquiring young minds has been sacrificed on an alter of serving community expectations.

At least it appears that way.

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Man, is there anyone on Earth who didn't think middle school sucked?

A couple of years ago, my partner and I visited my hometown for a TV station reunion held by a mutual friend. While we were there, I rented a car and showed my partner the neighborhoods in which I had grown up, old haunts, schools, and so on.

Even after more than 30 years, I still felt a chill when we stopped by the old Jr. High School. It brought back a lot of memories, not many of them good. There were a lot of things I liked about those days -- I had some good friends, and the music of that time was great. But the bullying I had to put up with, being an obnoxious, unathletic short kid with glasses, was pretty miserable.

I think the school principal is out of line to ban the play, but I also concede, "kids have no rights." The reality is, until you turn 18, you can't vote, you can't do nothin'." It isn't fair, but that's pretty much the law.

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I think the school principal is out of line to ban the play, but I also concede, "kids have no rights." The reality is, until you turn 18, you can't vote, you can't do nothin'." It isn't fair, but that's pretty much the law.

"kids have no rights" but their parents do. It's interesting that of the 48 students in the play, only 3 had parents who objected to the play (and during the last week, despite weeks of rehearsals) and the other 45 had parents who wanted to play to go on as written.

Great way to show the kids democracy in action. NOT!

Colin :hehe:

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LOL after hearing I knew it was only a matter on nano-seconds before we heard from Colin.

It's good to be anticipated!

Colin :hehe:

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Guest Fritz

Ah, but in our politically correct world, democracy and rights do not matter. Instead, what matters is that one or more persons can effectively claim the powers of a dictator by simply claiming to be offended. It makes no difference if the material is offensive or not, only that someone claims it is. By so doing such people take away all right to debate the actual merits of their claims and thereby seize power. By claiming offense you seize the higher moral ground and any argument that you might have misunderstood the words or meaning of the words is not allowed as such arguments only show that the person uttering the words is stupid, mean, bigoted or something evil. That is the lesson being taught to the Sherwood Middle School students, and it is a damn poor lesson. We have lost sight of all reason and allow ourselves to be bullied by people claiming offense over simply ridiculous things.

I have no problem with the concept that we should be conscious of our words so that we do not unintentionally hurt the feelings of others, but I very much resent others ascribing meanings to my words which were not intended, and I further know of nothing in the Constitution or Bill of Rights which says you may not offend people. As practiced today, political correctness is nothing more than tyranny by a minority as evidenced by the fact that a vote would have allowed the play to be performed by a forty-five to three margin. Those three claimed power over the other forty-five by claiming offense and did not even have to offer any proof.

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Ah, but in our politically correct world, democracy and rights do not matter. Instead, what matters is that one or more persons can effectively claim the powers of a dictator by simply claiming to be offended. It makes no difference if the material is offensive or not, only that someone claims it is. By so doing such people take away all right to debate the actual merits of their claims and thereby seize power. By claiming offense you seize the higher moral ground and any argument that you might have misunderstood the words or meaning of the words is not allowed as such arguments only show that the person uttering the words is stupid, mean, bigoted or something evil. That is the lesson being taught to the Sherwood Middle School students, and it is a damn poor lesson. We have lost sight of all reason and allow ourselves to be bullied by people claiming offense over simply ridiculous things.

I have no problem with the concept that we should be conscious of our words so that we do not unintentionally hurt the feelings of others, but I very much resent others ascribing meanings to my words which were not intended, and I further know of nothing in the Constitution or Bill of Rights which says you may not offend people. As practiced today, political correctness is nothing more than tyranny by a minority as evidenced by the fact that a vote would have allowed the play to be performed by a forty-five to three margin. Those three claimed power over the other forty-five by claiming offense and did not even have to offer any proof.

I agree that political correctness in the hands of the unthinking and selfish is restrictive and obstructive. I also agree with most of what Fritz writes, but with one proviso and that is that it seems to me, the democratic vote must never be allowed to silence the right to dissent. When that happens the underlying principle of democratic freedoms are lost and we then are one step closer to enforced mob rule.

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I understand what Fritz said, but disagree. In fact, I'm offended by it. (JOKE)

Seriously though, I can say with fair certainty that if the play was anti-gay, and the protest of being offended was presented by a gay couple, there would not have been a cancellation of the play. It is not quite as simple as Fritz presented it. Much more complex issues are in play.

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I understand what Fritz said, but disagree. In fact, I'm offended by it. (JOKE)

Seriously though, I can say with fair certainty that if the play was anti-gay, and the protest of being offended was presented by a gay couple, there would not have been a cancellation of the play. It is not quite as simple as Fritz presented it. Much more complex issues are in play.

You are right Trab, but I was taking Fritz's comment as I understood he meant it, without wishing to get into those very disarming complexities.

We could, for instance have a major discussion on whether one hate crime justifies another, but I suspect at the end of it we would not have a clear answer. Too many variables.

It sometimes has to be sufficient that we are aware of the difficulties in finding answers just so when we are confronted with such situations we are better able to contribute an answer or opinion to that particular instance.

Not very satisfactory if you want definite answers I know, but I do think it is safer than assuming one answer fits all.

PS I got the offending joke. :hehe:

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Talking with each other (as opposed to AT each other) would obviously be the best system for conflict resolution. Hateful and hurtful comments and worse, actions, don't lessen the danger and frustration, just increase it. Look at any conflict around the world. Ugly action promotes further ugly action. Ugly rhetoric sparks other ugly rhetoric, and maybe ugly action. Sadly, those who are supposed to be forgiving, leaving punishment to God, are often the worst offenders in this escalation. Truly sad, how we just cannot seem to communicate, regardless of our communication toys.

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Are we suggesting that attitudes have hardened these days? That one reason communication doesn't seem as effective as in the past is that neither party is as flexible as it should be, that views are often set in stone, and proponents of those veiws are increasingly more intractable?

I'm often left feeling that way these days. Debates becoming shouting matches, with the participants quickly deciding that the duscussion is pointless becasue no one is listening to what's being said. They have their opinion, and by god, they're right and they don't want anything to deter them from thinking the way they do.

We have some really thorny issues facing us as a country these days, issues that could be helped by all sides being allowed to explain their thinking in detail, and all sides actually listening to the arguments, thinking about them, seeing if something couldn't be agreed upon. But look at the debates on abortion, and homelessness, and illegal aliens, and wiretapping, and gun control, and on and on. These issues don't need to be polarizing, but they've become that. You're with me or against me, and if you're against me, I don't want to listen to what you have to say.

I dont know just how long we've been moving in this direction, but it's hard to quibble about the fact we have. We could use a good dose of a return to manners, to calmness, to real thinking and real communication to help on these and so many other issues. All our rhetoric does now is wedge us further apart.

Now helpful at all.

C

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...I dont know just how long we've been moving in this direction, but it's hard to quibble about the fact we have. ...

It was 1974 when some of us first said, "There is a sign on the highway of life and it says, Turn back you are going the wrong way."

That was the dying phrase of the peace and love movement. :hehe:

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Guest Fritz

If anyone thinks I'm against debate on a subject because of what I wrote about political correctness, nothing could be further from the truth. I totally agree that the majority should not be able to silence the minority. But you see, cutting off debate is what political correctness is all about. How can you debate whether or not a given person is offended by someone's words or actions? All a person has to do is claim to be offended and, since we cannot read minds, we have to take that person at his word. Since we seem to have adopted the belief that we must not offend people, that shuts off any further debate on the topic.

To apply this to the topic of the thread, after reading the play I find it hard to believe that the subject matter and its treatment are too mature for middle school students. I'll grant you that it has been many years since I've been in school, but my niece and nephews are not that far out of middle school (most are still in high school) and they certainly were mature enough to deal with the subject matter of the play when in middle school. So what we have is a case where a few opinions were allowed to rule over a majority of opinions. I could have restricted my remarks to this incident alone, but I decided to broaden it by framing it as political correctness. Perhaps I'm doing the objecting parents a disservice, but it appears to me that they used the tactic of political correctness even though they couched it as the play being too mature. None the less, the results were the same. How do you debate their belief that the play was too mature? In the end, rather than risk offending them the principal caved.

Now it is possible to debate any subject as long as both sides are willing to engage in the debate, but in many instances people have an inflated opinion of their own brilliance and so, as Cole points out, we end up with shouting matches with neither side listening to the other. It only takes one side being unwilling to honestly debate for such a condition to develop. In a true debate any claim advanced by one side must be either refuted or shown why it does not apply. Just thinking something should be a certain way is not sufficient: you need reasons and not just emotions to back your claims. In the topic of the thread, I would be willing to bet that the complaining parents offered no actual facts as to why the material was too mature, simply their belief that it was.

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It's interesting. My English Literature teacher in Middle and High School was one and the same throughout my arduous time there. Vic, as we called her, didn't seem to take much in the way of outer 'pressures' when it came to stories we read or movies we may have watched afterward.

After reading Romeo and Juliet, we watched a movie of the same story. It was very well done, but I recall there being a nude scene where the character Romeo climbed out of bed (they had just finished doing the nasty) as was nude as he walked to the window. Of course, all you could see was his ass, but still... it was 'sanctioned' nudity.

Of course there was one student that had to make some smart comment.

I'll never forget her reply... "Get used to it. We've all got an ass." (yes she said ass) "Be glad that right now you only have to look at it, because later in life, you'll be chapping your lips on one." She then made a comment saying how she thought the boy was quite attractive which made us all laugh.

We were allowed and encouraged to read aloud in class, and when there was a swear word in the context, we said it loud and clear. I doubt all of the parents would have approved of either, but it was still the curriculum she chose, and we learned a great deal from it.

We read a great deal of Shakespeare during those years and I am sure, if you are at all acquainted with the material, you know that there is at least one phrase in each story that could possibly offend someone. That doesn?t however negate the true joy and wonder of reading such wonderful work.

It perturbs me that some would have the world perceived like a ?Leave it to Beaver? episode rather than the ?Roseanne? reality that it is. Still? we teeter on the edge of offense and worry about bruising someone else?s fragile sensibilities at every turn. I think it is ridiculous and the preconception leaves younger members of society ill equipped to deal with the harsh reality that is our world, which, should be, our ultimate goal.

This sink or swim attitude is what I believe to be a major factor in the more recent hostile actions in our schools, and a precursor to the growing violence in our society. The notion that everything ?should be? peaches and light to a young adult or adolescent who is enduring anything but, only emphasizes the torture they endure when entering the world, or wake to each day.

Anyhow.... those are my thoughts.... right... wrong... or indifferent.

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The notion that everything ?should be? peaches and light to a young adult or adolescent who is enduring anything but, only emphasizes the torture they endure when entering the world, or wake to each day.

As bad as that mismatch between the reality being lived and what it 'should be' actually is, the insistence that people aren't experiencing this blissful is because of their own actions or perceptions just makes them all the more angry, having basically been told they are delusional about their issues. The degradation they feel (maybe that's not the right word?) from simple dismissal of their concerns just makes the whole thing even more offensive.

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Guest Fritz

For those still interested, the play was performed at the Portland Center for the Performing Arts yesterday. A writeup on the performance can be found at the following.

http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/i....xml&coll=7

By searching Sherwood Middle School at the OregonLive site you can read other articles that have appeared between the time the play was halted and its performance. You will need to hit the show more at the bottom of the search string. Hopefully the principal learned something from this, but after reading most of the stories I'm not at all sure she did.

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Here's the play that my high school is putting on right now; I got this out of their email bulletin which I still receive. Do you think the high school in this Oregon town would get away with this? Neither do I.

Buy your tickets for the Spring Play "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)", a zany, fast-paced, cross-dressing adventure through the world of the bard. They'll be sold at lunch, in the Rally Court. Last 3 performances are Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday this week!

Colin :smile:

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