In Pennsylvania, Director Is Fired Over School “Spamalot”

September 19th, 2014 § 146 comments

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 10.49.54 AMI am angry and I am sad. But I am not entirely surprised.

Earlier this morning, Dawn Burch, drama director at South Williamsport Area Junior/Senior High School in Pennsylvania, was fired from her position. By e-mail. The reason given? “Job performance.”

It doesn’t take a detective to figure out what’s really going on. At the beginning of July, Burch asserted that her musical choice for this school year, Spamalot, had been nixed by the school due to its gay content. School officials vehemently denied that was the case.

In late August, Keystone Progress and I received copies of school e-mails between Burch, principal Jesse Smith and superintendent Mark Stamm regarding the decision. An e-mail from Smith from the end of June cited “homosexual themes” as the reason for canceling the show.

So now, less than a month after the administration’s efforts to hide their own actions were revealed, Burch suddenly loses her job. Save for holding auditions and beginning rehearsals for the school’s fall play, Alice in Wonderland, she has barely undertaken her job for this year, as prior to that it was summer break. When exactly did these job performance issues come to light? Awfully coincidental, no?

I believe Burch has been fired for telling the truth. Burch has been fired for not being willing to accept that gay life was not something to be hidden away, not something to be ashamed of, not something to be afraid of. It hardly takes another Right-to-Know request to put together the pieces.

I wanted to interview Burch about what has transpired, but she was too emotional to say much more than the bare facts of the firing as cited above, except to express concern about what would happen to the fall play and to the students already cast, who were looking forward to being in the show. Will it still happen? Who knows. But even on a difficult day, Burch’s main concern was for the students. She may not be a teacher (and therefore has no tenure), but putting the needs of students first is a sign of an excellent teacher, accredited or not. There are many ways to teach.

It’s worth noting that at a Board of Education meeting a week and a half ago, conversation regarding the Spamalot issue was expressly deferred until this coming Monday, September 22. So it’s quite remarkable that this decisive action took place even before the South Williamsport community could discuss the issue publicly; that they were denied any opportunity to speak before the issue was resolved and that it became a referendum on Burch’s performance, rather than about condoning homophobia and then hiding that fact. Will the topic still be discussed Monday night? Perhaps. But there’s going to be a lot of discussion in the past tense when it comes to Burch.

Perhaps we’ll all be surprised. Perhaps overwhelming support for Burch will be in evidence on Monday night. Perhaps the Board of Ed members will discover that this is an issue that will be a factor when they run for reelection. Perhaps parents will make clear that they can’t trust the word of the board chair, the superintendent and the principal, given their efforts to obscure the truth in this situation. Perhaps the press will cover the fallout of this firing with rigor and depth, and a truer picture will emerge.

I don’t know how the students will feel, or what they’ll be told about the loss of their drama director. I don’t know how they’ll react, or if they will at all. But just as kids are smart enough to intuit a great many things from a very early age, I suspect many of them are going to realize that they’ve just been given a lesson in right and wrong, in honor and duplicity, in the politics of fear and silence. They’ve seen just how badly their elders can behave in the name of protecting them. I hope they’ll see through it as well.

And I hope they’ll realize that Dawn Burch is a hero. I think plenty of people already do.

 


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  • David

    Howard, I think it would be very important for Dawn Burch’s voice to be heard. Once she has taken some time – and of course spoken to legal counsel and her union rep – you should approach her again about doing a video interview and post it. I also think National media, like a Meredith Vieira, Katie Couric or Fresh Air on NPR would be very interested in hearing from her (and from you for bringing this to a national audience.)

    Wondering: other than saying “for performance”, does the School Board have to offer proof of said “performance”?

    Again – great job bringing this story (and others like it) to light.

    • William Henderson

      her union rep. LOL

    • Ruxpin

      Union rep. Come on! SHE IS *NOT* A TEACHER. She taught no classes and had no in-school role. She was a PARENT hired to direct the drama club–an extracurricular activity– for their plays/musicals. She did a lousy job and it cost her that position. Seriously.

      And yes. There is quite a bit of “proof.”

      • GingerDayle

        Show the proof or it’s just hearsay.

        • Ruxpin

          Exactly my original point to Howard Sherman. That, and tell the whole story. Look, let’s assume for the sake of argument that the students that don’t like her, etc, are all wet and are making everything up. That’s fair. It’s even arguably possible. But the fact remains that the complaints, the grumbling, etc., started before anyone even knew about Spamalot. A comment was made regarding one of the issues from the stage during the Ray of Lights last year. It subtle and only people who knew likely got it, but it was televised and is actually on tape. The point, again, being that all of this predates the Spamalot thing. But Sherman doesn’t mention any of this because it’s not convenient to his narrative. I am quite positive that at this point there ARE some in the “anti-Burch” camp for whom this is completely about Spamalot and bigotry. That’s a really uncomfortable alliance (for lack of better word?). But for me and for quite a lot of the folks, this really is about stuff that predates or coincides with the Spamalot thing. (by the way, I love monty python and am disappointed they’re not doing it). Time’s yours:

  • Chip Deffaa

    Terrific piece, Howard. They should keep her, replace the higher-ups who lied to cover-up.

  • Michael Mele

    After being censored myself this year for wanting to do “The Laramie Project” and then fired a few months later because the admin thought I had become “toxic” to the students, I feel for her! I cannot believe schools in this day and age can do these things to good teachers. Something needs to be done so administrators have to answer for their actions!

    • Ruxpin

      I don’t know you. You may very well be a good teacher and I’m sorry to hear of your situation. This woman was a) NOT a teacher and b) not good. The “b” is a matter of opinion (although an educated and objective one), but the “a” is fact. And gain, this blogger is so incredibly slanted in his reporting that he completely ignores 95% of the story.

  • Louise Phillips

    Would be nice if this went viral. Then perhaps we’d see a change.

  • Christine Bernardi Weil

    What disturbs me the most is the message this sends to gay students at this school who may already be struggling with coming out and wondering how their community will react. Heartbreaking to think how much harm this likely has caused to some young people in that school.

    • Ruxpin

      Both the heterosexual and homosexual community that live here know this had nothing to do with Spamalot. It was a convenient distraction created by a poor director who already had quite a few complaints launched against her. Fire her and let them do Spamalot anyway.

      • GingerDayle

        This person is supposed witness but he’s offering no proof, naming no names… I call bullshit.

        • Ruxpin

          No real witness would name names on here. How about tell us YOUR real name.

          • Sarah

            You must not live in this community, or be blind to the homophobia that very much does exist in such a small town.

          • Ruxpin

            Oh, you’re very right, Sarah. the homophobia is VERY real. And very wrong. There’s no doubt about it. I have never said otherwise. But it doesn’t change the fact that Burke was facing quite a bit of issues before Spamalot even came to light.

        • brasch

          I’m signing MY name. Ruxpin is a coward for being anonymous. AND, wrong on this issue. This person has NO proof to back up her/his assertion about the director. walter brasch

          • Ruxpin

            Terrific. You signed your name. Who the hell cares who you are? You’re not even local and don’t have to live among the neighbors involved during and after. There’s no bravery in your signing your name as you have no horse in this fight and no consequences one way or the other. No one cares what you have to say, Walter Brasch. Piss off.

  • Bruce manjammer

    Spamalot is funny. Not gay.

    • earbox

      It’s a little gay.

      But it’s also only a little funny, so…

  • Jose

    Bull crap. Spamalot had little to do with anything. From all reports I have heard from students the woman was downright mean to many of them – ostracized a few and made them feel like dirt. Students boycotted auditions last week and she sent her husband, a school board member, over to intimidate and harass them where they gathered to celebrate a fellow student’s birthday rather than audition. Sadly the whole truth will likely never come to light, but enough of the gay shit!

  • South Williamsport Alunmi

    As a former student of this school district, I am incredibly annoyed by the amount of extreme one-sided posts by people so far removed from the situation. Have you ever met any of the people involved in this “drama”? You are hearing one side from a woman who is a drama teacher…of course she’s going to play it up- that’s her profession people!
    As someone who has met this woman, I do not consider her a hero. I do not feel that going to the press and exaggerating is a heroic deed at all.
    Calm your jets, remove yourself from the situation, and have some dignity.

    • earbox

      Okay, so tell us the other side.

    • Shaun

      What exactly was exaggerated? The emails speak for themselves.

      • Ruxpin

        It’s not appropriate here to go into specifics, but what this article fails to mention is the student revolt against her prior to Spamalot even being known of. Mistreatment of several of the students. The fact that she couldn’t block a stage to save her life, ignoring the recommendations of professionals. A string of poor judgment. Family members bullying and intimidating students and their families. Fire her and do Spamalot. That would be a great compromise.

        • Drama Queen

          Sounds like some spoiled brats throwing fits because for once they didn’t get what they wanted. Not a case of mistreatment at all!

          • Ruxpin

            Honestly, the first part of your statement has merit. The second part, however, isn’t true.

          • Drama Queen

            The decision to cast roles is not solely the director’s, so why so much anger directed at her for casting a family member in a particular role? And I beg to differ; my comment about there not being mistreatment IS true. We could go back and forth on this indefinitely as we have an extreme difference of opinion on this situation.

          • Ruxpin

            We could (go back and forth), but I actually appreciate the fact your expressing your position, are obviously passionate about it, but you have not been remotely disrespectful. I know that sounds grossly condescending, but I don’t mean it that way. I’m just saying I appreciate it. We do disagree, but you and I aren’t the only ones. There’s a LOT going on here and it’s unfortunate that it really is dividing a community. You sound like your local, so perhaps we’re each talking about unique experiences that don’t overlap each other or we’re using differing measuring sticks for what we consider mistreatment. But I’m thinking of a handful (it’s not a lot) of specific incidents where people were mistreated (by my definition). This incident will be made more public on Monday night. Again, it sounds like you’re willing to agree to disagree and I’m with you on that. I really do hope that our community can eventually come back together again.

          • Ruxpin

            I’m sorry, you asked a very specific question and I neglected to answer: I’m not “angry” about the family member being cast. As far as upperclassmen at the time, I’m not sure there would actually have been a suitable alternative. The biggest problem for me (and this is subjective and certainly open to contrary opinion) is that it was literally and honestly painful to hear. When the singing wasn’t sharp it was flat. But none of that is really a pivotal “gripe” for me. Honestly, up until not long ago I had no problem with Mrs. Burch. When the previous director left (who was a nice person but also technically not a very good director) Mrs. Burch stood up when no one else did. I appreciate her for that because had she not, we wouldn’t even have a production to discuss. Up until recently, my critique has been on technical stuff. I figured, though, that just like a new coach or a new teacher or even a student drama club member, you learn as you go and grow into your role. So that’s all good. (This is long, sorry). And I also know from leading youth groups and having watched my parents do so as well, that if your kid is in that group you’re pretty much darned if you do and darned if you don’t (you’re either going to help your kid or you’re going to stand in their way to avoid looking like you’re helping –but you’re going to be accused of helping either way!). So, the family member thing really isn’t a critical complaint. I shouldn’t be referring to “other things” on here while not being willing to go into the “other things” and am regretting having allowed myself to post on here to begin with. I don’t think it’s appropriate to go into detail, though because 1) it really isn’t entirely fair to Burch and 2) would require using names of minors. Sorry for the long post. I thought your question deserved explanation.

        • GingerDayle

          Why is it not appropraite to go into specifics? Because you want the freedon to make unfoudned accusations withiut having your name attched to them. This person is full of crap. Until Ruxpin shows proof I would be suspect of everything he says. he witnessed a bunch of stuff that he won;t describe yet we’re supposed to believe him? BULLSHIT!

          • Ruxpin

            Because 1) There is still a school board meeting on Monday. 2) Specifics would involve names of minors or enough information that locals on here could identify them. 3)There are legal ramifications to just going on about things willy nilly. And unlike you, my facebook profile pic is on here so I’m not exactly hiding. Unlike you. Your name is fake and you have no picture. So, who’s hiding?

          • Jose

            I described one instance in one of my posts. Rux speaks the truth people. This woman was not all she’s trying to make herself out to be with the media.

          • Chris Bird

            Please explain.

  • Super Red

    Regardless of the situation, the bottom line is that she handled it inappropriately and violated the terms of her employment by violating the policies and procedures of the school. On those grounds, they are well within their right to terminate. Pennsylvania is a “right to work state”. In observation of this entire mess, while she may believe her intentions were noble – as do many others – her handling of the situation was irresponsible and unprofessional, which calls the credibility of her motives and overall professionalism into question.

    • dwsNY

      Ever notice how “right to work” is actually just code for “right to fire you whenever we want, for whatever reason we want, without you having a chance to defend yourself?”

      • Ruxpin

        No it’s not. It’s also the right to quit with no notice or just by not even showing up: a right far too many people exercise. It was initially put in place as a guard against slavery and indentured servitude. It’s a good thing.

        • dwsNY

          That’s, um… A very, shall we say… Interesting take. I believe you’re confusing the concept of “a right to work” with what I’m talking about, which are “Right to Work” laws such as those pushed through by the Pennsylvania GOP (and the GOP in many other states) in the past 20 years.

          • Guest

            Not confusing anything..well kind of maybe. The right to work you are referring to is some of the anti-union stuff the PA GOP (and other states, as you correctly mention) has been pushing in the last 20 years. There is older right to work laws that state that, in the absence of a CBA, the employer and employee are not contractually bound or obligated to each other and can sever the employment relationship with or without reason (an odd clause considering the reason supposedly can’t be discriminatory nor retaliatory) and with or without notice. I took your first post as referencing what I am talking about, and that historically was rooted in the idea that a person could up and quit and wasn’t obligated to work for anyone. If you’re talking about the anti-union nonsense more recently, carry on.

          • dwsNY

            Indeed I am!

    • brasch

      Pennsylvania is NOT a right-to-work state. And, the teachers at the school are unionized. The fact the director is not a teacher doesn’t excuse the superintendent from acting like an ass.

    • Chris Bird

      Please tell me about these ‘policies and procedures’ that she violated.

  • Shaun

    This conversation needs to continue. Bigotry can not be ignored. These administrators need to answer for their words.

  • mommadoo

    I think you all are listening to only one side of an obviously frustrated small social website newspaper columnist. If this guy were any good at his job he would have interviewed some of the students she was over in the drama club. Before you sing someone’s praises maybe checking the facts first would be in your best interest.

  • Patrick Huber

    If you’re looking for a litmus test for how progressive a drama program is in the area of alternative sexual orientation, “Spamalot” is hardly the show you should choose. The “gay” content in this show is “gay” in the worst, most stereotypical sense of the word. Funny, if done well, but hardly progressive or empowering for gay students.

  • William Henderson

    The Drama Director stipend was $2,700 so Ms. Burch did not “loose her job” – I assure you she is still employed at her “real” job.

    • Shaun

      Love it how people refuse to consider an occupation that works with children on building confidence and finding their unique voices as not a “real” job because of the wage. I would like to think there are still people out there that hold the importance of making a difference over money

      • Ruxpin

        I’m sorry. This post is so utterly clueless in regard to this particular situation that I can’t help but state so. There is no relation between your post and the reality of this staff member or the situation.

      • William Henderson

        The average teachers salary in SWASD is $57,225 for 36 weeks work.

  • Michelle

    First, you have avoided many of the facts that have come to light since it was first incorrectly reported by a news organization that didn’t check it’s facts before reporting. And you’ve chosen to report only the facts that support your argument.

    Second, your assertion that Burch had “barely undertaken” her job is false on many levels. She had just begun the school year, but not her position at the district. The manner in which Burch handled her discontent was not appropriate. School districts have procedures with which to deal with these controversies, and given the fact that her husband was on the school board, the appropriate channels would have likely worked in her favor.

    As has been reported since the first faulty e-mail, Smith’s objection was not to the content of the play alone. He is the principal of a very small, very conservative district. His concern was that students would have to choose between their personal morals and being able to participate in a play that conflicted with their personal morality. He also did not discount the presence of gay students. The public school should be a place where students of ALL backgrounds and beliefs are accepted without judgment. That includes students of conservative religious beliefs AND students who have chosen or are struggling with their sexual identity. The decision protects students. It doesn’t punish them.

    In addition, _Spamalot_, while very funny, is not exactly supporting gay culture. The musical demeans homosexuality. If my children were struggling with their sexual preferences, it is NOT a play with which I would want them to associate.

    This is an issue that has blown up not because of a legitimate argument, but because one person decided to falsely accuse the district of bigotry. It plays well in the media because our society wants to sensationalize any story that seems to restrict gay rights–especially if it is occurring in a school. This is not one of those cases. Leave the district alone to deal with their issue without the media trying to direct the discussion.

    • Jose

      Amen! Well said and exactly correct! Bravo!

  • Shaun

    I’m not understanding this whole “Ms. Burch should have utilized the proper channels to express her complaints.” Her superiors made comments that support homophobia. Who would she have reported this to? And what good would it have done? These men lied and the truth has come out and yet no repercussions for them. If you people did some research you would know that Mr. Sherman is a very influential member of the theatre industry and a great advocate of the arts. He is in no way sensationalizing this. This is a blog not a news site so he can state his opinion however he chooses. Don’t blame him. He didn’t write the homophobic emails. Finally for those who are claiming that Spamalot is actually offensive to gay people: Have you even seen the show? You have obviously caught some kind of subtext in the show that critics, the Tony Award voting committee, many high schools, colleges, community theaters and millions of audience members have missed. Maybe you should be the one with the theatre blog. Let’s face it if this was a football coach going to the media with something like this, the administrators would be fired immediately and a shrine would be built for the coach. But it’s not sports it’s the arts and people just don’t care enough about the arts so they are letting these men who got caught in a lie and exposed for the bigots they are get revenge.

  • Student

    This firing occurred because of Lexi Holtzman, a senior who was angry at burch for not getting lead roles in the past. She made a “petition” only having people sign the paper then putting what the “petition” stated latter. She convinced 7th grade students to not audition by passing out notes to the students. She tore down audition packets and convinced music teachers to be on her side. Sadly, the school teachers and administration can’t believe she would do any of this, but she has gotten away with it thus far.

  • Ruxpin

    People really need to do a little research on the local situation. She
    was flat out a horrible director. This was as much to do with a student
    revolt against her that predated any knowledge or mention of Spamalot
    and dates back to last year’s production and to a string of displays of
    poor judgement. The Spamalot thing did not help matters, but that also
    was created solely by her. I have no problem with homosexuality and
    wouldn’t care if they did “Brokeback Mountain, the Musical.” You’re
    backing the wrong horse and doing very lazy journalism.

    • GingerDayle

      Where is all of this “proof”, “correspondance,” and “research” you keep citing? If you’re such a smarty pants then put a link in one of your damn posts instead of telling everyone to “do their research.” That is just your way of shoving your agenda down everyone’s throat wothout having to show proof. Back yourself up now because you just look like a bitter wannabe director who’s jealous that no one is paying attention to him. And using a BS alias to boot. Get a backbone, Ruxpin!

      • Ruxpin

        I don’t need a damn link. I’m a fricken eye-witness. Not everything happens on the internet that there is a link. I know the staff member involved. I know just about everyone in the drama club. I’m telling people they are getting their information from a blogger who told 5% of the story and people are responding to it as if it is gospel. Yeah, I’ll be at the cited school board meeting on 9/22, and I’ll have a lot to say. And there’s very good reason for the alias, so step off.

        • GingerDayle

          Ummm… We’re supposed to believe you? Some angry bitter person, who like I said, no one is paying attention to. You’re getting your attention now so are you finally happy?

          Yeah, hide behind your alias and BS claims that have ZERO BACK-UP or PROOF. Until YOU CAN PROVE IT, it’s hearsay. got that Mr. Ruxpin Alias? Nothing you are saying has an ounce of sincerity. If you really were a witness and had proof you wouldn’t hide behind an alias and would give more details about whatever you saw. How are you sooooo much more qualified than the blogger when you’ve given no specific details, unlike this article which is full of them.

          Like I said — get a spine inserted immediately because you are lacking that. And take your meds.

          • Ruxpin

            You know what, you’re the one coming across angry. And no I would not post it online. But we differ because you’re an idiot. And what you just described: zero proof and hearsay (spelled properly), is exactly what Howard Sherman has done.

          • GingerDayle

            I’m not angry and unlike you I’m a REAL theatre professional who doesn’t need to use an alias. Please get over your jealously and anger. Yes, I’m Ginger Dayle, a director, actress, and playwright. You knwo I wrote a pretty well-known play about John Hinckley Jr and your behavior on this blog is making him look SANE. So what’s your name?….. Oh, I forgot YOU’RE A COWARD HIDING BEHIND AN ALIAS.

            And the “I can’t post it” is an even worse excuse. Why don’t you get someone with half a brain to help you with these excuse? So you’re missing a brain as well as a spine?

          • GingerDayle

            You are the one with the hearsay problem.

            I am not an idiot… Do you think everyone who schools you on line is an idiot? Because, Ruxpin, YOU GOT SERVED! Ha!

            According to Webster’s on line I spelled it correctly. Perhaps there’s more than one spelling? Can you read? Oh, did I mention that I’m more educated than you as well? Where’s your Ph.D from UPenn? Oh wait… Dumb and hiding behind an alias!

          • GingerDayle
          • Ruxpin

            You’ve schooled no one. You’re arguing out of complete ignorance. You clearly don’t understand the local situation but what is worse you clearly embrace that but continue on with your distortion of the truth. I have yet to be “schooled” or “served.” Carry on in your delusion.

          • GingerDayle

            I’ve schooled you so many times it must hurt. At least you still have your alias name and cartoon to hide behind. Admit to who you are and people might actually start listening to you. It’s really easy to lie when there are no consequences.

          • Ruxpin

            I don’t care whether you listen to me or not. You’re so caught up in your little existential agenda and so unwilling to recognize there may be more to the story that you’re really not worth my time. I will continue to respond to the personal attacks, however. You want my name and details? Make sure to come Monday night. I’ll be the one accusing Sam Burch of intimidation and harassment.. See you there.

          • Ruxpin

            Why are you so incredibly angry about something that doesn’t even concern you? Rest assured, I am not remotely jealous of you. Director, actress, and playwright. Terrific. Good for you. But you Philly folks are shoving your nose into something you don’t understand and are making inaccurate assumptions based on the limited information spoon-fed you by an unprofessional arrogant nothing who is being fired.

            There is nothing wrong with the “excuse.” I *am* a local who needs to live here when all this “forgotten issue” is over with. I can’t just go posting names or situations of minors on a public blog. Unlike Sherman, I understand there ARE ethics involved in posting half a story, no matter how much of the information I actually have. But to go online like Sherman has done and bash a local school and its community with only the information of a woman who is well out of control is wrong. Given my accusation, it would be even worse for me to do the same. Don’t worry, I will be very clear Monday night. If you’re there, I’ll even introduce myself.

          • Ruxpin

            You keep emphasizing “REAL” theatre. Who cares? Color me unimpressed. I’m not in theatre in any way, so what do I care that you’re wasting your life on nothing of any value?

          • GingerDayle

            I can see why your daughter us having issues I regards to casting. Your last comment proves she’s in an uncultured household. Hopefully she’ll go to college one day and be exposed to the value of art and realize what an ignorant upbringing she came from.

            So insult my profession… Great… I’ll just keep on cashing my residual checks each week and use my free time to help produce plays in schools in underprivileged neighborhoods. Wow, a volunteer helping those less fortune than me. I’m really of no value.

            If theatre is of no value why are your panties in a bunch over this situation? Because you like being part of a drama. You may not be an actor but you sure like attention which is my point you keep avoiding — YOU ARE FULL OF CRAP.

          • GingerDayle

            I spelled it hearsay. Can you not read?

            Trying to make me look bad? FAIL.

          • Ruxpin

            You edited it. You spelled it hersay. And you’re making yourself look bad all by yourself.

          • GingerDayle

            That word was spelled correctly from the start. I’m not saying I didn’t me spell anything (unlike you, who has edited several pits pretending to be some smart, NORMAL person).

            The only thing that looks bad is that I called bullshit on you and proved you wrong repeatedly and you haven’t substantiated a single one if your cleans to be a ‘witness’ to anything that took place.

            You look bad. Really bad. And around. Listen, I get that you’re some loser living in Williamsport and the only thing you have going for you is that you is that you can pretend to look important or smart by bashing an accomplished theatre artist on line but that’s not going to help you with your sad life. Maybe actually do something with yourself instead if making up lies to link yourself to what will eventually be a forgotten event?

            Seriously, do I need to provide another link for the coward who wants everyone to think a cartoon profile photo prices he’s a reliable source? Why don’t you say who you are and be honest like me?

            Okay… Since you’re too mentally incompetent to do a search, here’s another freebie. This show will be on Broadway in about 18 months so you can pay full price for a ticket to see my award-winning directing work: search RFK and my name, doofus and you’ll see that you’ve been blasting on someone with much more street cred than you’ll ever have.

            I really hope your not a reflection of everyone in Williamsport. You’re making the whole town look like a bunch a out of touch whiners who make stuff up to stay relevant.

          • Ruxpin

            You haven’t one proved me wrong. Not once. Accomplished theatre artist? To whom are you referring? Sherman? I’ll give you that. YOU? I don’t know your entire resume, but I’ll even give you that. Burch? No. Not even close.

            Forgotten event? We agree again. This whole thing will disappear. At least that would be the hope. But that process is not helped by outsiders who know one side of the story inserting themselves into a local issue they know nothing about.

          • Ruxpin

            And what the hell kind of name is GingerDayle? Is that really your name? People locally who know me will recognize my facebook profile picture on this page, so I’m not exactly hiding from the people that matter.

          • GingerDayle

            I just told you my name, genius.

            http://www.NewCityStage.org

            Or you could stalk me on Facebook.

            And your Facebook picture is a CARTOON and could be used by anyone so, YES, without a doubt you are one huge COWARD.

          • Ruxpin

            It’s actually a cartoon OF me and has my name (first name, anyway) in it. This really isn’t difficult (nor relevant).

          • GingerDayle

            Ummm… It’s a fucking cartoon. You’re still a coward hiding behind an alias. Seriously, what stuff are you smoking? It’s apparently VERY good at creating delusions of grandeur.

            I, on the other hand, linked articles and reviews in respectable publications with my REAL COMPLETE NANE of my work and the theatre company I founded. Hey, the office number is there so if you want to continure your cowardice and immaturity you can call the box office and leave prank messages. Your only response was, “What kind of name is that?” because you’re too much of a coward to admit you were schooled by a real live person who’s not afraid to stand up for what she believes.

            So what’s your response now? To further discredit me or it get back to my point which is YOU ARE FULL OF SHIT AND I PROVED IT.

          • Ruxpin

            You’ve proven nothing other than that 1) you are a director in Philly and 2) have no idea what you’re talking about in regard to the situation in South Williamsport. Seriously, why are you so angry about something that has nothing to do with you? And in regard to calling names: yes I have, but I didn’t start it. And now you’re attacking my daughter and family in addition to repeatedly calling me names; all out of ignorance. Take a xanax and go involve yourself in something that has the slightest to do with you.

          • GingerDayle

            Uh, duhhhh… What kind of a name is Ruxpin?

          • GingerDayle
          • rodgerdodger

            I think it is funny that you just said, “and what the hell kind of name is Ginger Dayle?” and it turns out it is her real name as evidenced by documentation. I hope you apologize, my friend because that is just plain rude.

          • Ruxpin

            Point, set, match to rodgerdodger.

      • Ruxpin

        You’re responding to “people” which is fair enough since it was loosely worded. I actually specifically meant Howard Sherman who would have access to the actual local situation if he were not so lazy.; I did not people posting in response but understand why it was taken that way.

        • Ruxpin

          On the other hand, I don’t think I ever used the word “correspondance. [sic]” Had I done so, I would have correctly spelled it “correspondence.” I didn’t use that either.

          • GingerDayle

            Oh wow, another insult from the alias. So easy when you don’t have to be own up to your immature behavior. You’re never going to make it in the theatre or any career with your attitude and anger. You are one bitter lonely guy. So glad you don’t have enough gumption or talent to make it in Philadelphia or New York like me so we’ll never cross paths. I guess I’ll have to ask Dawn Burch who you are when I interview her.

            Also, plenty of mispellings in your posts, Coward-Ruxpin. I don’t feel the need to insult, just point out the holes in your argument and claim to be a ‘witness’ to this whole situation. You said there were things you witnessed, I used the word correspondence so get over over. Are you saying you witnessed things and that NO ONE said a word during that time and that the evidence contains no correspondence? Oh wait, you haven’t said A DAMN THING except that you know things you are keeping secret.

            Keep your secrets. No one cares what you have to say and none of it is true anyway. Your secrets are all you have left.

          • fredmojo

            Spamalot has nothing to with any of this. I am glad there are other people who are supporting the South Williamsport school and the right desicion to get ruin if her.

          • Ruxpin

            LOL It’s funny you keep throwing around things like “make it in the theater” or “make it in Philly,” etc. I’m not in the theatre. I never have been. It never interested me. I have every bit of respect for those who are and who do it well, but my direct knowledge or interaction with said people would be extremely limited (I’m trying to come up with a list mentally and have to say “extremely limited” might be a vast understatement.). I think maybe you are assuming I am someone I am not.

            I am a parent whose child and wife has been very wronged by the Burches. I know many of the kids involved and have known them since they are little. I have watched a series of really bad judgement calls by a part time staff member who should not be.

            The agenda–the sole agenda–is to remove a problem from the school and move on.

            There is no bigger picture here. The woman was aware of complaints against her. She has created an issue to distract and the school board has been more than willing to oblige her in its stupidity.

            Personally, I have seen Spamalot on Broadway. I haven’t seen many shows, but it’s one of the few I have just by dumb luck. Growing up I was very much a Monty Python fan so when I got the chance to see it, I took it. It was only okay. I think I both enjoyed AND criticized it based solely on my enjoyment of Python rather than with any objective criteria. But I don’t see much, if any, problem with a high school performing it.

            My agenda, or lack of, has nothing whatsoever to do with a homophobic agenda or anything of the sort. I am actually an ardent supporter of the LGBT community and its endeavors, So my being on “this side” of the argument is uncomfortable for me because of the possibility of being lumped in with homophobes, etc.

            But ultimately this is about an individual staff member and her husband and the poor judgement and ability shown by each.

            Finally, they aren’t secrets. They are simply things that do not belong on a public board. Come Monday and you get to hear all of it.

            Have a terrific day.

          • GingerDayle

            You are full of crap. You wouldn’t be so caught up if you didn’t have something on the line.

            Also, you were not a witness to anything. I’m writing an article about schools removing directors because of material chosen and have talked to the director in question. Your daughter was not wronged. You’re a bitter parent. Get over it.

          • Ruxpin

            Yeah, she was, I actually have grounds for criminal charges and will pursue if the school board does not act appropriately on Monday. You’re right about a bunch of things (delineated in another post; I won’t waste your time repeating), but you’re very very wrong on this point.

          • Ruxpin

            And if you really are writing an article, please do a better job than Sherman on the truth.

          • GingerDayle

            By all means, I’ll quote you as soon as you say who you are…. But I don’t think you have the nerve because your exaggerated and biased views would be on full display.

          • Ruxpin

            “You wouldn’t be so caught up if you didn’t have something on the line.”

            Yet you keep typing, don’t you? And you have absolutely no stake in this whatsoever. Go away.

          • GingerDayle

            You have absolutely no right to tell ANYONE to go away, you got that?

            You have EVEN MORE TIME than me because you’ve written paragraphs more.

            I do have a stake in everything that is of interest to me but especially when it comes to educating our children about theatre.

            You gave the choice to fuck off and stop interfering with my freedom of speech or to be outed to your community. You decide.

            And now for another long-winded bullshit-filled response from the worst father in Williamsport…

          • Ruxpin

            “Are you saying you witnessed things and that NO ONE said a word during that time and that the evidence contains no correspondence?”

            Actually, people have “said a word” and the school district was very aware of these complaints prior to Spamalot. That’s the whole point. I’m sure the evidence contains correspondence; I’m not privy to that and never claimed that I was.

          • GingerDayle

            You said several times you were a witness to things that happened and now you’re retracting that?

            You are so totally busted.

          • Ruxpin

            I said I’m not privy to whatever correspondence there may or may not have been. That’s something entirely different than being witness to things that happened.. Interesting that you don’t respond to whatever olive branches I throw your way.

          • Ruxpin

            By the way, correspondence means *written* exchange. Just because I witness things that happen doesn’t mean I’m privy to whatever private emails or letters go back and forth. What, so they just hand out PhDs at Penn when you buy a sweatshirt? Don’t you actually have to learn *anything* anymore?

        • Jose

          Ruxpin, forget it. You can’t argue with angry liberals – never was there any greater exercise in futility. Good luck at the meeting on Monday, not sure if I’ll be attending.

          • Ruxpin

            Thank you, Jose.

    • Drama Queen

      Could your opinion be slightly slanted because of the role your daughter got or rather didn’t get?

      • Ruxpin

        Nope. Not in the slightest bit.

        • GingerDayle

          Absolutely! He’s a coward hiding behind an alias.

          • Ruxpin

            Yeah, and I’m sure “Drama Queen” is the name on her birth certificate (sorry, Drama Queen. No offense).
            GingerDayle is a fake name, too, you angry little moron.

          • GingerDayle

            The only thing pathetic here is you and your lies about being a witness to this situation. Again, can you read and use Google? I did the work for you by linking an article to a review of a play I wrote that was critically acclaimed as well as the professional theatre company I founded…. You really are as stupid as you are mentally ill.

            But you’re using your cowardice and your intellectual inferiority to avoid what I called you out on — you are full of shit and not privy to the details of this situation. Prove yourself, bitch.

          • GingerDayle

            So why is there a burden for me, who wasn’t even there, to prove I’m legit but you don’t have to prove anything about yourself?

            Why is an anonymous blogger with an axe to grind a supposed trusted resource? Answer that ONE question. You’ve avoided intelligently responding to any of my points and instead turned this into a personal attack on me. Notice that you’re that ONLY ONE attacking me and changing the subject? Ummm, yeah…

            I think what’s really bothering you is that someone with more experience and intelligence tore apart your feeble argument in less than one minute. Seriously. If you can’t hack with the big boys get out of the game. Know when you’re schooled and learn to shut the fuck up. Someone in your town is bound to know it’s you talking smack and will out you. Then what are you going to do, blame it on me? No worries, since you don’t think I exist…

        • GingerDayle

          Damn right he’s got an agenda. I feel bad for the daughter.

          • Ruxpin

            You know what, seriously. You write as if you have the foggiest damn idea what you’re talking about. My daughter has nothing whatsoever to do with this. All she’s ever had is bit roles in the chorus as, really, that’s all that would have been appropriate. She was happy to simply be in it. Just like Sherman, you have no information and ignorantly jump to conclusions on subjects you know absolutely nothing about. This has been the point from word one: You outside garbage who know nothing of what you’re talking about should keep your mouth shut and your nose out of it and go about your business and let the people of South Williamsport worry about South Williamsport issues.

          • GingerDayle

            So now I’m ignorant garbage because I’m more educated than you and don’t agree with you? Your true colors are coming out as I know they would. Name calling is a last resort for someone who is proven wrong. And hiding behind an alias. You need to examine your immature behavior.

            And if you could read, which you clearly CAN’T, you’d see that I’m the accomplished theatre artist NOT hiding behind an alias. I’ve also worked as a guest director in high schools all over Pennsylvania and know many of the other directors so I know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. You on the other hand are an angry parent with no life likes to put others down.

          • Ruxpin

            You actually don’t know what you’re talking about but insist you do. This is what makes you ignorant.

            But let’s start out with what you are correct about.

            1) Your resume. However, it’s really not relevant since you either have no idea about the relevant facts on the ground or refuse to acknowledge them since they don’t fit the narrative of your agenda.

            2) Hearsay. You are absolutely correct when you use this terminology. You are correct on several levels and I cannot think of one in which you aren’t. I have deliberately been vague for several reasons:
            a) Because there are legal ramifications in spouting specifics willy-nilly. First, it would include either names or undoubtedly identifying descriptions of minors. Never a good thing.
            b) Most–not all–of my information comes from students themselves and/or family members. With or without specifics, you would correctly term it hearsay (since the story would not directly come from me). Now, not only would it be hearsay but it would directly involve above minors and also involve parents who may or may not want their name plastered all over the internet.
            c) This is equally–or more–important than the above: Since the information comes largely through third parties, it would not be ethically fair to Dawn Burch to list each individual issue. The point to mentioning “issues” in a general sense is that whether ultimately true or not, the school board/administration WAS faced with several significant complaints prior to, coincidental to, and subsequent to the Spamalot thing. The point being that Sherman fails to acknowledge any of this but instead smugly writes “when did these performance issues come to light” and “I wonder how the students will feel?” It smacks at someone who made no effort to find these things out because he is either too lazy (doubtful) or because it didn’t fit his narrative (likely).

            3) Coward. By some definitions maybe. First, when I first was lead to post, it was with the motive stated in point “c” above. It required me to login. I noticed Disqus first, and since I have an account there, that is what I used. I didn’t anticipate “ruxpin” being an issue since it has not been elsewhere and since there are a plethora of people posting on this board on both sides of the argument who are not using their names.

            Coward may be to the point because when I realized my facebook image was associated with it, I wasn’t terribly happy. There are quite a lot of people locally who will recognize it instantly. I haven’t blown it up and suspect it will be difficult to read when done so, but it does at least have my first name on it. It’s one of those idiotic bitimage (or whatever it’s called) cartoon things you can make of yourself on facebook. It was made some time ago in a completely different context. If you call it either juvenile or moronic, I’ll have to grant you that. I almost deleted my post but left it. In retrospect, I should have given in to the “coward” urge even more and deleted–but it turns out deleted posts don’t disappear; they stay as “guest,” so I think that would have been worse. Do you agree?

            But now that it has become an issue, yes, I am hesitant to say who I am. If someone else posts it I won’t deny it, but yes, I am hesitant to do it on my own. I do live in the district. As such, I am aware of repercussions and retaliation possible in this district. My daughter still has several years to go to school here and no, I am not willing to have her face problems due to the fact her father wasn’t smart enough to resist posting on a website.

            If that’s cowardice (it does admittedly meet MY definition), then so be it.

            As to “what kind of name is ruxpin?” It’s a juvenile one. It was my nickname when I went to Central High School in Philly and has kind of stuck with me. My first name is “Ted,” so in going to high school in the 80s, I got “Teddy Ruxpin,” and then just “Ruxpin.” I use it on message boards I participate on or run and typically use it elsewhere. That’s how it got attached to my Disqus account. I see you follow me now. That’s cool. Hopefully we can eventually participate in discussions we agree upon. Given what I perceive is your political leaning, I would anticipate that you and I would actually agree more often than not (I don’t expect you to believe that based on this exchange but I really am ardently to the left).

            4) I’m a nobody. Probably by most definitions, yes. No, I didn’t go to an Ivy League school. I have a lot of respect for U Penn, but no I didn’t go there. I moved out of Philly when I was still in high school and when I graduated I had no interest in the “big city.” That only explains UPenn. The rest is that while my SATs could have gotten me anywhere, my actual grades were “meh” and my parents weren’t rich and couldn’t have made up the difference. I happily went to a state school. My fault, not theirs. I’m not in theatre. I have no interest. My “performance art” is limited to singing in and directing choirs. Not exciting, but I enjoy it. It’s not my career or dream, though. Despite my ignorant post earlier about “wasting your time” or whatever I said, I do respect it. Good for you (no sarcasm). I work what amounts to a menial job in middle management after having run my own company that was absorbed by the one I currently work for. My own fault. No one else’s. But I pay my bills, put my kid through college, and attend nearly all of the activities in which my kids participate. Happily. Yes, by definition I am absolutely a nobody. I’m okay with that.

            There may be other things you are correct about, but I’m already well into a monograph and am stealing your time.

            Back to the issue at hand: The only point I was initially making is that the writer–who has every right on his own blog to write whatever he wants–paints this solely about Spamalot and smugly dismisses or doesn’t even mention all the other things going on. I know Burch likes to paint everything else as a lie.

            Maybe it is. Maybe there’s only even part truths. Maybe the 20+ kids who boycotted the tryouts (including some who had very significant roles in previous productions) have ulterior motives. Actually, I suspect some of them do. I don’t know the motives of each individually. I know what they’ve claimed them to be, but I suspect there is more when you “peel the onion.” But the school district, when presented with these accusations from multiple sources, does have to acknowledge them and weigh them.

            The Spamalot thing didn’t help her. The timing on her end reeked of creating a distraction since it came right at the time the administration approached her about the other complaints. It’s unfortunate that this really isn’t open/shut about Spamalot or you and I would be fighting entirely on the same side of this.

            I apologize to you about hurling names. I don’t think I’m alone in having done that as I have been called names out of the gate. But no matter, I’m responsible for my own behavior. Peace to you, and I hope to see you Monday (I’ll be nice; I promise)>

  • South Alumni

    This was not about the play, there were other factors here. And it wasn’t one student either that was to blame. It WAS the Director and her actions that caused ti all. There is so much more going on here than many of you know. Unless you had a family member in drama under her watch, you know absolutely nothing about what has been going on. I have heard it and seen it first hand and i know that as a former South drama student myself, i am glad she is gone. The regular drama students stuck together and worked together to make sure the wrong things were made right. As i said, unless you know FOR A FACT what all has been going on, don’t be so quick to judge. That’s why this world has gone so far downhill./.. because people have been too quick to judge others when they wont’ even search out the REAL facts.

    • Ruxpin

      Hear hear!

  • Former drama student

    I graduated the previews year from South and was an active drama student. It sickened me that she was our directed and she was met with nothing but content for most of the students. She picks shows that were highly inappropriate for kids 7-12 grade level, rewrote the script so it would pass under the school boards eye as inappropriate. Se kicked many students out and picked based on favoritism for leads. Her talentless daughter was given two leads so she could get into school for drama, despite when compared to other students of her age she struggles to get a chorus part. Many students have been ostracized from her shows because of the material, her verbally abusive husband, her oldest’s daughters sexual perversion of young students. and her youngest daughters sense of entitlement. Her older daughter would frequently be in the boys changing rooms while 12 -18 year olds were were changing. When asked for privacy, Mercedes Burch replied, “Its nothing I’ve never seen before” My Hypothesis is she didn’t want to be directer anymore now that her daughter doesn’t need mommy’s help to get leads so she decided to go out with a bang. She picked a show knowing the school board would be wary of it and when they wrote an email about the play’s questionable content, she turned it into an issue of gay rights. Both the school officials and Mrs. Burch are idiots, however the school officials are able to get the school in order without half of the kids quitting after the first year in it. I would like a poll of the current students who have been in a production since the spring o 2013, or students under the time of Burch to gain a real approval of her.

  • Jose

    Typical Liberal blog – delete comments that disagree with the original post yet have several likes. My post from yesterday calling the whole thing bull crap and pointing out that Mrs. Burch being let go had very little to do with Spamalot but more to do with her being a mean woman who treated kids poorly was deleted I see. Last time I checked it last night it had 12 likes and zero dislikes. I see several other posts this morning that point out similar facts that she was let go for being a poor instructor I wonder how soon they will be deleted as well. Last week several kids who would have auditioned for the Fall play didn’t, but instead met at a local eatery to boycott auditions and celebrate a friends birthday and Mr. Burch – her husband, and school board member – showed up to intimidate and harass the kids. Good quality folks there – crap like that is why she was let go, and hopefully the school board can get rid of him too! So sick of hearing about the gay crap! No one really gives a hoot. Most folks in this borough that I talk to couldn’t care any less if you’re gay or whatever, but get really sick of it being harped upon day in and day out.

    • former student

      They deleted my comment as well, for calling Burch out

    • Ruxpin

      It had 21 likes last I saw, Jose.

    • Ruxpin

      Thank you for the part about the eatery. I will absolutely be making an issue of that on Monday night.

      –Ted Taylor
      Resident of South williamsport
      (not that anyone should care)

  • Jose

    Bull. Spamalot had little to do with anything. From all reports I have heard from students the woman was downright mean to many of them – ostracized a few and made them feel like dirt. Students boycotted auctions last week and she sent her husband, a school board member, over to intimidate and harass them where they gathered to celebrate a fellow student’s birthday rather than auction. Sadly the whole truth will likely never come to light, but enough of the gay nonsense!
    (originally posted 9/19/14 – edited to remove possible bad word, at least to some)

  • 12_string_Frank

    Maybe they should have put on “MP and the Holy Grail” scenes instead. This musical has a song in it not so flattering to Jews either. But firing Ms. Birth is not the answer. Talk to her and see about selecting another play.

  • rodgerdodger

    Well, let’s be honest here “spam-a-Lot” is not really presenting homosexuality in a positive light. A humorous and stereotypical way, sure but it is not defending homosexuality or denouncing homophobia.

  • rodgerdodger

    As a Drama teacher who has just moved into a new school (not in Pennsylvania!) the students and drama club members who have been in the program for a while can really be a major pain in the buttocks – especially ones who feel so attached to a program or an outgoing director. They can make your life a living hell – so I can’t help but wonder how much if this is predicated by students who just couldn’t let go of the past and have united against her.

    • Ruxpin

      I think your post has quite a bit of merit, Sir. The previous director was a very nice young woman who still had quite a lot to learn in terms of technical aspects, but from what I can gather was liked. The current director has been there for, I think two full years. Possibly slightly less or slightly longer. Mrs. Burch has a lot to be given credit for. Among them, in no particular order:
      1) She stood up and volunteered her time when no one else was apparently going to. I say “volunteered” despite the $2700 or whatever stipend. No one is going through this hell solely for the $2700. She stood up so her children and other children would have a drama club to be part of. She should get a lot of credit and a lot of thanks for that.
      2) When she took over, the drama department had some male involvement but it was overwhelmingly a female enterprise. She has grown the female involvement, but the increase in male participation has been incredible. MUCH credit should be given there.
      3) She and her husband and a handful of other volunteers she has brought have donated quite a lot of time, not to mention money and materials for sets, etc. Again, this isn’t because of some $2700 stipend. There has to be quite a bit of heart and desire there.
      I’m sure there’s other things, but these quickly come to mind. I do think that some of the students that have united against her do individually have other issues driving their position. I could be wrong, but I don’t think any attachment to the outgoing is among them. It’s certainly possible for some, however.

    • Second Side

      You nailed that on the nose

  • ben

    I don’t know any of the people involved, and I neither believe nor disbelieve anyone who claims to. Could they know the parties involved? Possibly, but it’s very easy to simply claim such things. What they write here may be true but I also can’t just believe it because they write it.

    So what do I know? If nothing else, the administration of this school mismanaged this firing. Perhaps they’re entirely within their rights. Perhaps it needed to happen, perhaps it didn’t. I don’t know. However, they gave the appearance of firing this person for vindictive reasons. She revealed that they had lied about their objections to “Spamalot”, and soon afterwards she’s gone. It’s impossible to read that and not infer some conclusions, whether those conclusions are entirely correct or not. And as with most things, the situation is very likely more complex than we’re given to know from reading a short opinion piece.

    However, how can I not think this? They object to the gay content in “Spamalot” (which I don’t even remember from the time I saw it), make a fuss, are outed about lying, she’s gone; it’s impossible to not think that one thing led to another. The administration will need to come up with some serious evidence that what they claim is true.

    • Ruxpin

      Good post. Can’t argue with a single word of it. I believe Burke should go, but your characterizations of the situation in general and of the school board, in particular, are quite on point and well said.

  • Brad

    I randomly stumbled across this article. After an initial reading, and another more thorough review, I was poised to comment. I decided to read the below comments. I do agree that the article and certain commenters are a little biased in favor of D. Burch. I will also state that those in favor of the anti-Burch camp are also biased. As with all complex situations, I believe (Ruxpin, you might like this) that the best course of action would involve fact gathering from all parties accountable (D. Burch, administration, students, etc…) predating the date of her removal, and the “Spamalot Incident.” Such facts from all parties accountable would be made public in what I’m assuming would be a board meeting. No one has to agree with me. I do not encourage anyone to join either side for or against Burch without considering all information that can be made available. That being said, I believe that all, including myself, should consider what information would and could be made available by PROPER LEGAL means before becoming pro-Burch/anti-Administration, and vice versa. In other words, why waste time pointing fingers in a battle of ego, wit, and grammar/spelling skills when all can demand the facts be made public and openly available to the district this occurred in. I believe Ruxpin mentioned something about a board meeting or some type of meeting to discuss this situation. I have no affiliation with the district, students, Burch, the state of PA, other than going to college there for four years, etc… Please do not ask me for facts as I am only an outsider to this incident. I will not support either side until the facts are made clear and present.

    • Ruxpin

      Brilliant post. I stand guilty of some of what you said, as well. Thanks for your input.

    • MountieParent

      As Brad has so correctly noted, it’s a shame that much of this discussion has degenerated into “trash talk,” because there are well-intentioned people on both sides. Mr. Sherman and his like-minded colleagues on the national arts scene see it as an issue of censorship and/or homophobia, pure and relatively simple. If that were strictly the case, there probably would be little disagreement. The school administration arguably fumbled on that count, digging itself deeper and deeper with every attempted explanation. I submit that few of us, if any, would endorse an educational system that excludes or marginalizes any student, and the district should have been far more sensitive in its response. Those of us who live here and who know the players either personally or by reputation, however, know that there’s more to the story – a story that, contrary to some, does not have a “hero.” That story is not mine to tell, as I have opinions but not facts. In time, I hope, the heat will give way to light and we’ll all be better informed. There are a few things I do know. South Williamsport is not deserving of the insults tossed its way in the past few months, and the school system is likewise no joke. There are good people here, not all of whom fit those stereotypes of small-town, backwoods America. I know, too, that the theater program is filled with talented young men and women who will survive this backstage distraction. While Ms. Burch deserves much credit for taking on the responsibility, the Drama Club was an established, respected and award-winning enterprise when she assumed her duties and it will maintain that reputation under her replacement. This has been a painful and divisive chapter for our community, heartbreaking on all sides and on many levels. There is healing to be done and there are lessons to be learned all the way around, but only when we rediscover that respect and disagreement can co-exist.

      • Ruxpin

        Thank you for a terrific post. Well said.

  • Brad

    I would also like to suggest that some form of decency should at least be present in debating points. Give you fellow man and woman some courtesy when arguing, even if you think/know that they’re dead wrong.

  • GingerDayle

    No, you started with the name calling and insulting my progression out if ignorance. I have EVERYTHING to do with this because I am an educator and I work in the PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM IN PA and get contacted by schools to direct and mentor all the time. You are no more important than anyone rise in the fiber station, especially me. So what are you going to do if and when I’m directing at your daughter’s school? Throw a temper tantrum like you did here?

    Also, you’re the one on Xanax and should go refill your script. Your poor daughter!

    • ThirstyMan

      I think you need to stop writing in caps and calm down. You have a lot to learn about the internet if you think flame wars with anyone is likely to change their mind to your ‘superior’ opinion. It’s only an important matter of getting the last word in, when you are aged 5.

      • GingerDayle

        It’s a few country so I can pretty much type whatever I want. I’m making a point that the completely dense Ruxpin doesn’t understand.

        I’m not trying to convince him or you if anything. I’m just pointing out all of the BS he brought up. You are free to have your opinion just like I an free to state mine but Ruxpin wants us all to believe his eye witness story because he’s upset that his daughter gave a lackluster audition.

        • Ruxpin

          Yep. Keep up the talking about a minor that has nothing to do with this you cow. Keep us all laughing at your classless idiocy. By the way, what is a “few country,” miss PhD? Go ahead and edit now and tell us all how it was spelled correctly all along. Stick to something you know about, like how to be a pretentious ignoramus in three easy steps.

        • ThirstyMan

          It may be a free country but that doesn’t mean you should type whatever you want. You persuade no one by shouting, least of all your protagonist. As a consequence, you aren’t making any kind of persuasive point that others will pay attention to.

    • Ruxpin

      You’re wrong, and you’re a liar. And I don’t know what “than anyone rise in the fiber station” means. And stop bringing a 15-year old into this whom you don’t even know. You tell me to get a spine, but such behavior screams of absence of one your end. You can call me names out of the gate but when I return fire you squeal “don’t call people names!” What’s good for the goose and all that rot. If you don’t like it, keep you and your coward opinions in Philly. I grew up there; I can hang. Hopefully they wouldn’t allow your pretentious self-absorbed self to teach at our school, but if they did she wouldn’t participate. She can get a better education in a barnyard in the waste pile.

      • GingerDayle

        I have been nothing but honest while I have caught you lying several times.

        Busted again, COWARD HIDING BEHIND AN ALIAS.

        • Ruxpin

          You are irrelevant. You have busted nothing. You are a classless nothing.

        • Ruxpin

          And you are lying when you say you didn’t start the insults. Keep up the delusion; you’re entertaining a lot of us so keep the laughs coming

  • Kila

    ok, so not a very interesting story…with only minimal research it is clear there is, at the very least, a compelling “other” side of the story, completely unexplored by the author….uhh, thanks for nothing’? But way more interesting here are the comments…somebody here is sure using your forum to “plug” themself!!….and it is pathetic, YET hysterical! Thanks for the laughs Ginger!

  • GingerDayle

    I don’t have an agenda except toninvestufatecyhevsituatuon and exercise my freedom of speech.

    Like I said, you’ve find nothing but try to intimidate me and everyone else here with an agenda for you and your bitterness. Your kid is the only one suffering.

    • Kila

      have you been typing with your big toe?….if so, keep it up, the lack of intelligiblility makes your comments that much funnier!

      • Ruxpin

        Kila, I seem to have misplaced my decoder ring and this was the second post from her I couldn’t make out. Did you end up able to figure it out?

    • Ruxpin

      That’s it, keep talking about my kid. Because that’s classy. You are proving my “ignorant garbage” label of you correct every time you post. That’s right, everyone, meet Ginger Dayle, the classless know- nothing garbage with the PhD from UPenn. Just be a pretentious blowhard and repeat your irrelevant credentials over and over again and you, too, can come across as an imbecile on a comment board.

      –Ted Taylor
      Resident of South Williamsport, PA (not that anyone should care)

    • Kila

      btw, i think someone forgot to give you the “rules of internet posting”…or just in general, any teaching in etiquette….never, ever talk about someones family, especially their children.

      besides, it just isnt near as funny as your “plugging” and your big toe typing!

    • Ruxpin

      And the only one trying to intimidate people with an agenda and bitterness is you. No one else is attacking children or parents with absolutely no information. Just blindly rambling on. You’d think a PhD from an Ivy League school would attempt to learn what they’re talking about before blindly attacking people. But, I guess they’ll give anyone a degree these days.

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  • stephaniepalmer

    Oh dear, it looks like the South Williamsport Area Junior/Senior High School teaches fantasy only. I guess Pennsylvania wont be getting any reasonable amount of thinking and creativity from that area. I’ll bet their over 20% poverty rate will keep them electing Republicans. And they wont be doing any better by graduating a lot of kids with a very narrow minded and uneducated students.

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