Last Friday, NCAC and a number of other organizations devoted to free speech considerations in education, drama, and literature sent a letter to the South Williamsport Area School District calling on them to reverse their cancellation of Monty Python’s Spamalot, which had been called off due to “homosexual themes.” As we sent out the letter, we learned that Dawn Burch, the drama director at the school, had been fired from her position that very morning via email. The cited reason? Job performance.
After sending out an action alert to our supporters, NCAC has also sent the school board members an addendum to Friday’s letter, calling on them to reinstate Ms. Burch to her position. In the addendum, NCAC argues that Ms. Burch’s timing of precipitous firing seems suspicious, given the fact that it comes so soon after the disclosure of the school board’s cancellation and mere weeks into the school year itself. Furthermore, her firing raises serious free speech questions, additionally facilitating a hostile and unwelcoming climate for LGBTQ students. The board meets tonight to discuss the cancellation and Ms. Burch’s termination.