Tuesday, September 23, 2014

PA school cancels musical 'Spamalot', showing that we need vouchers for schools

A month after sending the check, Mr. Smith sent an email to Ms. Burch expressing concern about scenes in the show, then followed up in another email saying he was “not comfortable with ‘Spamalot’ and its homosexual themes.” He said school shows were supposed to be “community events” in South Williamsport, a small town in north-central Pennsylvania that is best known as the host of the annual Little League World Series. Mr. Smith said he didn’t want “families to be afraid of bringing small kids because of the content,” nor students forced “to choose between their own personal beliefs and whether or not to take part in a production.” 
But in email to Mr. Smith and in subsequent interviews with the news media, Ms. Burch continued to defend “Spamalot,” a musical comedy based on the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” that includes a comical subplot about Sir Lancelot as a closeted gay man who ends up coming out and marrying another man. The show ran for four years on Broadway and won the Tony Award for best musical in 2005, and has been performed at high schools for several years.
The problem here is that kids (and families) of various beliefs are all forced to attend the same school district.  (OK, they're not forced.  They could pay taxes into that school district and attend somewhere else by paying twice for education.  Perhaps I should we could say families are "forced to pay for the product".)  When Spamalot was on Broadway, I don't recall any controversy.  Those who didn't want to attend the show didn't attend.  Those who wanted to attend did.  Nobody who felt offended by the content of Spamalot was forced to pay their money into the show.

Our students, however, are forced to go to the school in their district or pay extra to go elsewhere.  This is why we have this problem, and controversies over whether prayer should be allowed in school, standardized testing, and more. If instead there were a voucher system, where students get a voucher from the government to attend any school, these problems wouldn't exist.  Those who want to attend a school that shows musicals like Spamalot can attend.  Those who wish to attend a show  can choose not to attend.

Once again we are presented with evidence that non-market "solutions", like our public school system, creates problems.

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