Thursday, December 23, 2010


We at Jamaica High School continue to be at the epicenter of the closing schools controversy which is why I feel compelled to keep writing about it.

Our students along with pupils from Queens Collegiate (one of the new schools in our building) wrote a play about school closings based on the Greek classic Antigone. A day before they were scheduled to perform it the principals of the two schools banned it. The students were very upset.

Thanks to my colleague Marc Epstein and with full approval from the students and their mentors at Queensborough Community College, the script is now on the Washington Post blog.

The play isn't very long. Please take the time to read it and ask yourself if banning this work isn't just another inevitable result of school deform. We can't say anything that might upset the mayor.

The Manhattan representative on the Mayor's rubber stamp body called the Panel for Educational Policy is Patrick Sullivan. He stated at a recent Panel for Educational Policy meeting that he often feels when sitting up on the Panel, whose majority constantly ignores the will of the people, that he is witnessing the end of democracy. The students who wrote and produced this play would certainly have reason to agree.

People have been in touch with the New York Civil Liberties Union. Let's hope the production sees the light of day.


bookworm said...

Great play! And it shows the insecurity of the powers that be that they banned such fine student work. Wonder if there's a stage anywhere willing to give the kids an opportunity....

Marjorie Stamberg said...

Outrageous! Could the students perform this play on the steps of Tweed? They'll get an audience for sure.

So much for critical thinking: Banned by NYCDOE

--Marjorie Stamberg

Unknown said...

Contact information for the two principals mentioned in connection with the banned student play:

Jamaica High School Principal:
Walter G. Acham
Tel: 718-739-5942
Fax: 718-739-4826

Queens Collegiate Principal:
Jaime Anne Dubei
Tel: 718-658-4016
Fax: 718-658-5149

Anonymous said...

Do we have Freedom of Speech in America? Or are we living under the KGB regimen?

Anonymous said...

Has New York moved south of the Potomac?

Those principals should be fired. Most principals don't have the brains of a toad and these two hit short of that mark.

Anonymous said...

I hope whatever you do, you shoot video of the play and put it up on YouTube so we can all see it. It's inspiring to hear that kids in BOTH schools got together and produced this.