Nope, they didn’t use any of those terms.
Three sixteen year old juniors in high school said “vagina” and got suspended. You’d think this kind of thing happens only in the bible belt. You’d assume that only some idiot principal from Texas, Georgia, or South Carolina would have his head so far up his ass.
CROSS RIVER, New York (AP) — The author of a well-known feminist play has agreed to speak at a school district where three girls were suspended after they used the word “vagina” while reciting the play.
Eve Ensler, who wrote “The Vagina Monologues,” has accepted an invitation to speak Tuesday at a school theater, just before a meeting of the board of education, and will appear with the girls, said school board member Peter Breslin on Friday’s “Today” show.
Breslin appeared with 16-year-old juniors Hannah Levinson, Megan Reback and Elan Stahl.
The girls were suspended for a day each after they included the word “vagina” in an excerpt from the play that they read aloud at a school event last week. John Jay High School Principal Richard Leprine said they had agreed not to use the word.
News of the suspensions prompted charges of censorship, and Ensler said they were “a throwback to the Dark Ages.” District Superintendent Bob Lichtenfeld then postponed the suspensions for further study.
Susan Celia Swan, Ensler’s assistant, confirmed that the writer would appear at the school.
In Cross River, New York, Hannah Levinson, Megan Reback, and Elan Stahl were suspended from school for one day because they uttered The V Word – the proper medical term – for that part of their body in an excerpt from a play entitled The Vagina Monologues.
More below the fold, including the entire TODAY Show article from MSNBC.
Updated: 1:47 p.m. ET March 9, 2007
Three students who were ordered suspended after saying the word “vagina” while reading from a play at a high-school event say they were only trying to take a stand against censorship.
“Our main point is that ‘vagina’ isn’t a word that should be censored from young children … It’s an important word. It’s a part of the body,” said Megan Reback, 16.
Reback and fellow juniors Elan Stahl and Hannah Levinson, also 16, were given a one-day suspension by their principal at John Jay High School in Cross River, N.Y., after their reading of a stanza from “The Vagina Monologues” at a school “open mike” night last week.
The three girls discussed the resulting controversy during an appearance Friday on TODAY. They were joined by school board President Peter Breslin, representing the Katonah-Lewisboro school district, and Eve Ensler, author of the award-winning play.
“The Vagina Monologues” is made up of a series of monologues about women and their their experiences of sexuality. It has been performed around the world since first being staged off-Broadway as a one-woman show performed by Ensler in 1996.
The excerpt that got the girls in trouble, which they repeated on TODAY, reads: “My short skirt is a liberation flag in the women’s army. I declare these streets, any streets, my vagina’s country.”
Principal Richard Leprine has said the suspensions, which are being reviewed, stemmed from the girls’ insubordination, not from their use of the word itself. He said the girls broke a promise not to include the word in their reading.
“They just said the stanza wasn’t appropriate to say at an event that was open to the community,” Reback told TODAY host Meredith Vieira. “In reality, it was only 9th-grade students through 12th-grade students, and parents who were there. There weren’t any young children.”
Stahl said she and her two classmates felt it would be inappropriate to read the passage without the “V word.” “It really upheld the message of the monologue, the moral integrity of the piece of literature, and better represented women across the world,” she said.
The suspensions are on hold while the school district superintendent reviews the matter, and the girls are hopeful they will be reversed.
‘Stood up for what they believe’
Breslin, the school board president, said the episode highlights a need for a closer examination of school policy — especially considering another student wasn’t challenged for using the “F word” during his reading the same night.
The principal had a difficult decision to make and was doing what we felt was right at the time, Breslin said.
“Principals make these kinds of calls all the time. Educators in every school in America say, ‘Should this book be read by these students? Should this film be shown in class? Should this passage be read at this event?’ ” Breslin said. “It’s difficult because sometimes they are very difficult calls, and that’s what our principal [had] in this case.”
Breslin added, “Honestly, I have no problem with the word ‘vagina.’ I’ve heard it more in the last four days than I have to this point in my life, and that’s fine …. I admire what they did. They stood up for what they believe and I have no problem with that.”
Ensler said she is disappointed but not surprised that the girls got in trouble for using the word.
“I love these girls. I was not shocked that the school resisted saying the word,” Ensler said. “We are still living in a world where people are terrified of the word vagina. It’s a body part … The fact that we still live in a world where that creates such controversy is disturbing to me.”
— John Springer, TODAYSHOW.com contributor
© 2007 MSNBC Interactive
The principal of John Jay High School, Richard Leprine, should be immediately fired just for being stupid. Isn’t there a requirement that the people in charge of a high school shouldn’t be idiots? There’s certainly an expectation of that, I should think.
I have one issue with Breslin’s statement:
“It’s difficult because sometimes they are very difficult calls, and that’s what our principal [had] in this case.”
No. This was absolutely NOT a difficult call. There should never have been any question. Only in a society repressed by ancient religious superstitions and taboos against very basic biology would this ever be an issue.
These types of stories just prove how insane and inane the influence of Christianity on this country is.
Here’s the actual quote again:
“My short skirt is a liberation flag in the women’s army. I declare these streets, any streets, my vagina’s country.”
Rock on, girls! We Will NOT Lie Below, and anyone who doesn’t like that can lick my
Cunt. Pussy. Snatch. Taco. Hole. Honey Pot.