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Seattle school scraps third-grade play after language deemed inappropriate

A Washington elementary school’s plans for its third-grade play have had to wait in the wings after parents complained the language is inappropriate for the youngsters, reported.

The play, Homer’s “Odyssey,” is being re-written after a parent emailed the principal at TOPS school in Seattle expressing concerns about some of the dialogue in the play. The principal agreed that the language was not appropriate.

"Our job as educators is to make sure that kids are exposed to age-appropriate things. . ."

- Teresa Wippel, of the Seattle School District

The director was asked to re-write the lines, but quit instead.

According to the website, phrases like "put you across a log and cut your head off" and creating a "tar man" to guard, as well, were part of the script.

So, less than 48 hours before curtain time, the principal told parents and students in an email that the play would not be performed.

Matthew Strako says his daughter, who had a role in the play, was very disappointed.

"I tried to assure her to keep her hopes up. Even though her school let her down, her father was not going to," says Strako, according to

Strako and other parents let the school know they were frustrated that all the work their kids had put into practicing their lines would be for nothing.

Teresa Wippel, with the Seattle School District, explained the principal's position.

"Our job as educators is to make sure that kids are exposed to age-appropriate things, and he feels very strongly that this particular script is not appropriate for third-graders," says Wippel.

"He worked with the kids to rewrite the script, and they're going to go home and practice their lines. They hope to put (the play) on next week," says Wippel.

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