School District Statement on FNL Performance Cancellation
District reports: An activity advisor told students to drop an objectionable scene; the students performed it anyway.
The following statement regarding a controversy surrounding the cancellation of the final performance of the Columbia High School FNL comedy sketch club was sent to Patch by Suzanne Turner, Director of Strategic Communications for the South Orange-Maplewood School District, on June 13, 2012:
Prior to Thursday’s performance of Friday Night Live, students were told by the activity advisor not to perform a specific sketch, but chose to perform it anyway.
Parodying staff members in their professional capacity is part of the long-standing tradition of humor in Friday Night Live. While poking fun at professional behavior may be acceptable, it is unacceptable when the caricature invades a person’s reasonable expectation of privacy or needlessly employs racial stereotypes. Then, a line has been crossed, especially when the students were told to drop the skit.
While we do not discuss consequences for individual students, it was in the best interest of the school community to disallow a repeat performance on Saturday.