SCOTTSDALE, AZ - Students at Cactus Shadows High School are behind a social media movement to show support for the school’s drama teacher who’s now on paid administrative leave.
On Friday, several students plan to have a peaceful demonstration on campus wearing shirts reading “Free Cupo” and homemade bow ties in tribute to Andrew Cupo.
The superintendent of Cave Creek Unified School District, Dr. Debbi Burdick, says nine parents filed a report with the Scottsdale Police Department after learning their kids were assigned to read The Goat, a play by Edward Albee.
The Tony Award winning play includes risqué content about a man who falls in love with a goat, and also includes swear words.
The students say everyone was sent home with a parental consent form warning of mature content in the curriculum and that an alternate assignment was offered.
Present and former students have taken to social media to support the drama teacher starting a Twitter trend #freecupo.
Student Kyle Kuo says they want the principal, school board and parents to know the students are mature enough to handle the content of The Goat and the focus was not the story, but the lesson that can be learned in a drama class of how to express the emotions exhibited by the characters on stage.
Kuo thinks the school board should be doing more to get Cupo back in the classroom.
“With all the budget cuts, we need to keep all the good teachers we have and to lose such an asset, someone who's running the drama department and putting on all of these awesome plays that the students love, to lose that is going to be absolutely detrimental.”
Burdick says because a police report was filed, it is school policy to put the teacher on paid leave until the case is closed, at which time the school will conduct its own investigation to determine if any further action needs to be taken.
Burdick says the only real mistake she sees at this time is that Cupo should’ve alerted the school’s principal to the graphic nature of the play before assigning it.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Click on the region names in the map below to see news from that region.
Things To Do
INSIDE: Check out our top pick for weekend events around Arizona!
RIGHT NOW: Top Stories
Police said the suspect was shot when he threw a sharp weapon at officers.
A quick moving storm system is going to bring light rainfall to the Valley, mountain snow and chilly temperatures Saturday through Sunday.
He served his country in Vietnam and now the community is serving him. A Mesa man says his dog is recovering from a hit-and-run last month and a Valley non-profit is stepping in to help.
City officials recommend that people traveling to Tempe arrival early and use park-and-ride lots and take light rail.
Multiple events, including the Pac-12 game, are expected to draw major crowds in Tempe.
While investigators search for clues to a Thanksgiving murder, a woman and her two sons are trying to find the courage to carry on without him.