According to a recent Seattle Times article, Kirkland Elementary School has removed “inappropriate” lines and characters from their production of Snow White. Their decision has drawn fire from some parents who say this has crossed the line from sensitivity to censorship. The play is an adaptation called Snow White in the Black Forest by local company Studio East and has even been performed at the school in previous years without complaint. This year, however, some parents and teachers spoke up and content was edited at the last minute.
The “offensive” portions mentioned in the article are pretty mild, even for elementary school; the character DimWitty was renamed and lines from a song about being proud of being curvy were removed. Principal Sue Anne Sullivan believes the removed portions of the script violate the schools’ human-dignity and anti-bullying policies.
“Our concern was that in certain instances, the specific nature and/or degree of put-downs for humorous purposes was excessive or inappropriate,” said Sullivan, stressing that the objections had come from several teachers.
As mentioned in the article, it’s highly likely these children hear and see worse on television or at home. Does that make it acceptable to be performed in public schools? Is the school right to demand changes or is this going too far in “protecting our children?”