2015-04-09 / Front Page

Penguin tale generates controversy

The book "And Tango Makes Three," about two male penguins that hatch an egg, was published in 2005. (Amazon.com | CONTRIBUTED)The book "And Tango Makes Three," about two male penguins that hatch an egg, was published in 2005. (Amazon.com | CONTRIBUTED)Wednesday, April 15, 2015 - 2:15 p.m. - Sierra Foothill Charter School today postponed the performance of a play that deals with gender-preference issues in a story of two male penguins.

"And Then Came Tango," a play about male penguins that hatch an egg together, had been scheduled for Thursday, April 16. Parents were told about the sensitive subject matter and allowed to decide whether their children would attend, principal Alfonso Garagarza said.

Sierra Foothill Charter School is located in Cathey's Valley.

A "vast response" from parents questioning whether the play is appropriate for elementary-school-aged children prompted today's decision, Garagarza added.

Parents and guardians are invited to attend a hearing on the issue during the school's regular board meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28. Parents and others are welcome to discuss the issue with Garagarza "at any time between now and then," he added today.

The play, produced by students at Fresno State, is part of a youth theater program. Last year's production, "The Velveteen Rabbit," was performed on the SFCS campus, Garagarza said.

The penguin play has appeared at various San Joaquin Valley schools since March 3 without complaint, said Dr. Melissa Gibson, chair of the school's Department of Theatre Arts.

In 2012, a production of "And Then Came Tango" scheduled for the Austin, Texas area was cancelled when parents voiced concerns about its themes.

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If you want to stay informed

If you want to stay informed about what subjects and standards public schools are mandated to teach by the State of California you can go to the website: http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/index.asp Education leads to understanding!

I'm standing up for tolerance

I'm standing up for tolerance and all children growing up in loving homes. I hope that people can accept penguins, and people, as they are.

This play looks much more

This play looks much more wholesome than most media kids are exposed to. Kids see vacuous reality stars get married, get pregnant, get divorced; see women exploited in pop culture and advertising; see people killed for being part of the wrong group (religious, ethnic, social class...). Turn on any any channel; this is what is on our TVs, and kids aren't oblivious. I would much rather kids see a message that celebrates values such as raising up children in a loving home.



Glad to see that parents are

Glad to see that parents are standing up!!

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