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To think that GCSE drama productions should not involve sexual content?

(96 Posts)
legalalien Fri 02-Nov-12 10:51:50

Or am I an old prude? I'm all for sex education and stuff, but not sure about classes of teenagers making up and acting out plays with sexual content.

Background, have just been reading this employment appeals tribunal decision concerning the dismissal of drama teachers who allowed their class to put on a production depicting sexual abuse, incest and masturbation and my initial reaction was wtf were they thinking; but presumably they must have had some reason to think it was ok?

http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKEAT/2012/0155_12_2310.html

Note, lots of the decision is about whether the right process was followed rather than the acceptability of the production per se.

legalalien Fri 02-Nov-12 10:52:22

www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKEAT/2012/0155_12_2310.html

FredFredGeorge Fri 02-Nov-12 11:19:58

I see no reason why GCSE students shouldn't deal with sexual subjects in drama classes. Live sex shows, no, but dealing with the subject - completely appropriate, I'd be more disappointed if it was banned as being inappropriate.

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 02-Nov-12 11:22:43

YABU - plenty of these kids with actually be having sex and all will be aware of sex generally speaking. They're 15/16 not 12.

Themumsnot Fri 02-Nov-12 11:33:34

I think you are being a prude yes. These were Y11 students devising a drama production for their GCSE work - they should have freedom to determine the content.

Lovecat Fri 02-Nov-12 11:40:36

I think the teacher was an eejit for not warning the audience that there were going to be scenes of a sexual nature and explicit language - I'm in a drama company and if there's more than a few 'bloody's, we always put a note in advising strong language. For sex we put the warning in capitals...grin

As the pupils were responsible for writing the plays themselves I think YABabitU.

I would not want to see plays that dealt with sexual matters banned for GCSE students. There's a lot of sex (perverse or otherwise) in many lauded plays - the works of Mark Ravenhill, Sarah Kane, Harold Pinter, Dennis Potter etc. - all of whom have been set texts in GCSE at one time or another.

socharlotte Fri 02-Nov-12 12:57:15

YANBU- quote from the case

'the distress of others including a girl who was sobbing after the performance and a boy and one of the actors who were vomiting as a result of their distress.

cumfy Fri 02-Nov-12 13:07:22

YANBU and very odd that the initial tribunal found their dismissals to be wrong.

Just to be clear, the case will now be reheard, the appeal having found the original decision of the tribunal to be perverse.

YerMaw1989 Fri 02-Nov-12 13:10:43

I was just about to say most of these kids will be having boyfriends sex etc.

Ithinkitsjustme Fri 02-Nov-12 13:11:28

If one of the actors was vomitting then I think in this case YANBU, however I don't think all cases of sexual content should be banned and certainly if it is a production written and performed by students they should have a fair bit of leeway.

FromEsme Fri 02-Nov-12 13:16:27

I think a drama production dealing with sexual issues would be fine. This seemed to go a bit further with depictions of graphic sex, group sex, rape...at that age, I would have gone along with it because I wouldn't have wanted to say anything but I certainly wouldn't have been comfortable.

FromEsme Fri 02-Nov-12 13:19:13

Even if it is written and performed by students though, there could still be some in the group who don't want to do the things that are written about but go along with it out of peer pressure. You can imagine one or two getting carried away, pushing things as far as possible.

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 02-Nov-12 13:23:08

I haven't read the article but we did Romeo and Juliet at that age and it is full of sexual references. All Shakespere is. If people were vomiting, I thing it is the kind/amount of content that is the issue.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Fri 02-Nov-12 13:23:27

Hmm. Looking at the description of the sexual activity, although it's taken out of context, I would think the teachers were just plain stupid THB. Quoting...

material was included in their production which was age inappropriate and included graphic descriptions of:

(a) sexual intercourse;

(b) rape;

(c) oral sex between a father and daughter;

(d) father/daughter sexual abuse;

(e) sexual abuse between a mother and daughter;

(f) familial sexual abuse; and

(g) group sex in a family.

FromEsme Fri 02-Nov-12 13:24:59

MrsTerryPratchett this is a LOT more sexual than Romeo and Juliet. Like Romeo and Juliet times 1 million.

blibbleflop Fri 02-Nov-12 13:25:27

Are we going to ban half the works of Shakespeare while we're at it?

Very often the purpose of student written drama is to push the boundaries of acceptance. There have been many plays considered subversive over the years and a free society should not feel the need to suppress them.

That aside, was the contents of the play any worse than what you see on Eastenders or Hollyoaks?

FromEsme Fri 02-Nov-12 13:27:11

blibbleflop why not read the link first?

This was stuff that I would have been shocked at seeing, and I am at the theatre a lot. I'm all for pushing boundaries, I don't think I need to see teenagers portraying group sex in order to have my boundaries pushed.

TinyDancingHoofer Fri 02-Nov-12 13:27:27

I think this really depends whether the sexual acts were made reference to or actually acted out on stage.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Fri 02-Nov-12 13:27:45

Teacher's with an iota of sense should have informed senior management of the content of the play. Also, there were no 'warnings' issued to the audience enabling them to make informed decisions about what they were about to watch.
Just wankily arrogant and stupid.

MrsCantSayAnything Fri 02-Nov-12 13:28:02

If only people would get as pearl clutchy about all the online porn these impressionable kids have access to.

Drama is art. It's fine. Obviously I wouldn't suggest a class perform Shopping and Fucking or something...but a bit of relevant content is fine.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Fri 02-Nov-12 13:29:38

I'm not clutching pearls thanks - but I have read the linky!

FromEsme Fri 02-Nov-12 13:30:00

People do, don't they MrsCant ? I don't think I've ever seen anyone say "teenagers watching porn? No problem." It's certainly a big issue in education at the moment.

Sugarbeach Fri 02-Nov-12 13:33:05

Those teachers seem to lack judgement and common sense.

Sugarbeach Fri 02-Nov-12 13:34:04

ETA YANBU

legalalien Fri 02-Nov-12 13:37:11

I guess my real question is - where are the boundaries these days? I went to a fairly "earthy" comprehensive in the early '80s - we had a crèche for teen parents and there was a lot of sex going on, so I'm not suggesting we pretend that everyone is celibate. Just that the teachers in this case clearly thought they were just on the right side of acceptable - so that the "ok to discuss at school" boundary seems to have moved a bit along the way.

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