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Education Desk
The Education Desk is our education blog focusing on key areas of news coverage important to the state and its improvement. Evidence of public policy performance and impact will be reported and analyzed. We encourage you to engage in commenting and discussing the coverage of education from pre-natal to Higher Ed.Dusty Rhodes curates this blog that will provide follow-up to full-length stories, links to other reports of interest, statistics, and conversations with you about the issues and stories.About - Additional Education Coverage00000179-2419-d250-a579-e41d385d0000

School Musical Decorations Produce Off-Stage Drama

Stella Cole



  Springfield High School has a long tradition of staging a big, elaborate musical every spring. This year’s production, "Hairspray," has taken on new meaning due to news events. Set in 1962, it's the story of a plump teenage girl who forces a televised dance show to diversify its cast. Springfield parents decorating the hallway outside the school auditorium to promote the musical made protest signs, similar to the ones used onstage, with a mix of slogans from the 1960s and from today's news. But within hours, school administrators removed the signs with slogans inspired by recent police shootings, and a few days later, took down the signs supporting same-sex marriage. 

Credit Kari Bedford
Janna Schorfheide and the cast perform "You Can't Stop the Beat" in a dress rehearsal of "Hairspray" Wednesday at Springfield High School.

In an email statement, Principal Mike Grossen said he wasn’t trying to censor students, but the slogans had not been pre-approved. 

Hairspray runs through this weekend only at Springfield High School, with performances Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m.


Here's the full text of SHS Principal Mike Grossen's statement.

After a long career in newspapers (Dallas Observer, The Dallas Morning News, Anchorage Daily News, Illinois Times), Dusty returned to school to get a master's degree in multimedia journalism. She began work as Education Desk reporter at NPR Illinois in September 2014.
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