A Maryland elementary school has canceled an immigration-themed skit third-graders were preparing to present later this year after a parent alerted school officials to material in it that she found offensive.
“We let them know the skit was not appropriate,” Gladys Whitehead, the school system’s director of curriculum and instruction, told the Washington Post.
[sharequote align="center"]“We let them know the skit was not appropriate."[/sharequote]
The short skit, titled "The Uninvited Guest," was set to be delivered at an unidentified Prince George County elementary school.
According to the Post, it told the story of Uncle Sam throwing a party in his "Country Haven" — but there's a catch: Uncle Same makes it very clear that those who do not have visas, those who "sneak into" the party, are not welcome.
“Outsiders who pose a threat to the health or safety of my family aren’t welcome here,” Uncle Sam says, according to a classroom copy of the skit obtained by the Post.
In fact, Uncle Sam reportedly goes one step further in the skit, berating an uninvited attendee who snuck in through a window.
“I don’t want any drug addicts or drug traffickers to come in either," he reportedly says. "No criminals. We have enough problems; we don’t need to invite more!”
The skit, downloaded from a website which provides teachers with material to use in class, is now at the center of controversy and may result in new policies governing the use of third-party material in the classroom.
[sharequote align="center"]“We want to make sure that what [teachers] are pulling is appropriate for the classroom."[/sharequote]
“We want to make sure that what [teachers] are pulling is appropriate for the classroom,” Whitehead told the Post. “My team has been talking about what guidelines we can enhance to give schools a little bit more direction.”
“So many Web site resources are popping up, especially as we transition into Common Core, so we need a safety net,” Whitehead reportedly continued. “We want to make sure there is a second set of eyes to assist the administration and the teacher in making a good decision. We don’t want people to think that we are clamping down on [teachers’] freedoms, but we have to be conscious of what is being put in front of our children.”
Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter