Wednesday, March 14, 2007

YOUR 15 MINUTES: In The Name of Art

School news is my shtick for this week:

A part-time Florida high school music teacher has run afoul of the school district because he is baring his bottom in a community theater production of "The Full Monty." Jason Brenner, 28, said Tuesday that he refused to quit the show at the Venice Little Theatre despite receiving a letter from the school district last week with the ultimatum that he either cover up, withdraw from the show or resign his job at Lemon Bay High School. He offered his resignation but is on paid leave pending a meeting with an administrator Thursday. "For me it's the principle of the thing, because I'm not letting anybody stifle my art," said Brenner, a fledgling musical director, vocal coach and performer who teaches music and chorus at the high school. Brenner stars as one of the out-of-work steel workers who strip to raise money in the stage adaptation of the hit British movie. They bare their bottoms briefly in the finale of the show. "Because teachers are held to a higher standard than most people, you have to look at how that affects the community and his role as a classroom teacher," said Barbara Melanson, the school district's director of human resources. Brenner has vowed to stay with the show through its final performance Sunday. The school district "been very nice about the whole thing," he said. "It's an unfortunate circumstance, but they've got to do what they've got to do, and I got to do what I got to do."

Seriously, where were these teachers when I went to school? Show it off, baby. Do they not know how much more popular that class will be? Everyone will be a music major in that school...

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