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What they have to say for themselves

From March 26, here is the initial response addressed to WHS parents from principal Tim Canty and Wilton school superintendent Gary Richards (Adobe Acrobat PDF format). Virtually every one of Canty’s assertions about what he said at the March 13 meeting have been unanimously refuted by the students who were present (see the Times article.)

On April 3, in a followup letter titled “Not a Question of If, But When”, Canty circled the wagons. The day before this letter was dated, Canty told one of the Theater Arts II students that his idea of “when” the play could be performed is “five years from now”. Oh, and you’ll be interested to know this is all the media’s fault. If the Board of Education comes to its senses, Tim Canty has a future at Fox News.

Here is contact information for the Wilton school administration:

 At the time of the March 24 New York Times article, one of the cast members started a semi-official website. This is the website cited in the New York Times article as having posted the texts of the drafts. Shortly afterward, and for reasons still rather unclear, they took the drafts down, although they subsequently showed up on the Wilton Bulletin website (and are also archived by me here.)The guestbook section of this site started off as a lively public debate on the subject, with input from many of the participants, and a clear feel of the acrimony caused by the administration’s decision. After the announcement of the Public Theater and Culture Project performances, the guestbook turned into something of a “troll pit”, and on April 20 the site was taken down.

WHS Student Body President: Hello everyone,
We are glad such intellectual debate has occured [sic] due to the work of our student body. However, please realize that the actions of our principal are legally sound at that no ‘fight’ is currently underway. The media sensationalism has led many of you to consider this issue greater than it actually is. Please use your own intelligence in evaluating the situation and if you are ignorant to the facts, do not propogate [sic] falsified information without researching both the legal side and the background of the situation.

As for the remarks by (what we will call anonymous*) student in the New York Times concerning our interests. Student Government was appalled by the word choice of both the individual and the editing done by the author of the article. We realize that the intentions of the student were not to discredit the student body and that the editing of his statement was, for the most part, employed to reinforce an unfortunate stereotype that Wilton students are given.

Thank you,

Keith C. Heyde
Wilton High School Student Body President

* Neither Devon Fontaine, the object of this bizarre remark, nor any other Theater Arts II student was anonymous in their remarks in the Times article. Which is more than you can say of 90% of the negative posters on the freewebs.com guestbook.

On April 12, the day after the annoucement that Voices In Conflict would be performed publicly, the Wilton Board of Education held its first meeting since the controversy arose. Two students, James Presson and Devon Fontaine, and several parents spoke in opposition to the cancellation. At the end of the meeting, Wilton Superintendant of Schools Gary Richards made these remarks.

At the time of the first June performance, Richards issued the following statement:

As educators we hope that our students will benefit from the opportunity to perform in a larger venue and we sincerely wish them all the best.

Coverage in the media (mainstream and otherwise)
Blogs, blogswarms, rants, raves, and effluvia
“Voices In Conflict” on tour: performances, awards and reactions
“Voices In Conflict” cast and credits

Back to the main “Voices In Conflict” page

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