Tuesday, June 18, 2024

MY TURN: Attacks on school show unwarranted

by SALLY KLUMPE/Guest Opinion
| May 30, 2024 1:00 AM

What's the matter, people? Did you run out of books and liberal libraries to complain about?

After reading the Cd'A Press front page article on May 23 about the Missoula Children's Theater, I feel compelled to render my two cents on the matter. 

I was the pianist for the performance of the Athol Elementary children and two actors from the MCT on May 11 and can declare wholeheartedly that EVERY element of the production was beyond reproach. No child was touched (just in case transgenderism is contagious), no child was belittled (quite the opposite). Even the theme throughout the production was "working together, everyone is equal" — and then this from outsiders who didn't see the children come together as a team and put on the production. 

I have no idea what all of you naysayers have against transgender individuals. I find it appalling that you cannot teach your children that EVERYONE is valuable and important … oh, I forgot, except transitional actors. BTW, never once was anything amiss until "some audience members complained that a staff member was transgender."

Who are these supposed "some audience members?"  

Anyone who attended the production could see that the children were having a wonderful time, enjoying a bit of time in the limelight and ACCEPTANCE of their individual strengths. Otherwise quiet, introverted youngsters were suddenly able to rehearse and remember lines, could dance freely in front of people. I dare say this was a very expressive outlet for those kids.

And then, "someone" complains to the superintendent of the schools and she responds, “This event was not intentional on our part and has been identified as a weakness of vetting guest speakers or school assembly groups who are coming to our schools. I have already talked to the board about this. We love our students and never want to put them in uncomfortable or unsafe situations. Please accept my apologies.”

Horse pucky. 

I can attest that the children were NOT uncomfortable, they were NOT unsafe. They were having the time of their lives performing for their families and friends. They reacted as children should — they loved what they were doing. Each and every one of the children auditioned, by the way. Auditions were entirely voluntary.

I am proud and honored to have helped in this production. I sympathize for those of you so narrow-minded you can't realize what a wonderful production company the Missoula Children's Theater is. Your children loved them. What's your problem?

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Sally Klumpe is a resident of Athol.