Suspended AZ high school drama teacher returns - WNEM TV 5

Suspended AZ high school drama teacher returns

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Cactus Shadows High School (Source: CBS 5 News) Cactus Shadows High School (Source: CBS 5 News)

A Scottsdale high school drama teacher has returned after being suspended for having acting class students perform a play with sexually explicit content.

Andrew Cupo had been on paid administrative leave since Oct. 7 from Cactus Shadows High School after some parents complained about the play.

"To me, the play read like a porn script. It seemed that it was just meaningless and incessant blather, until you got to the really good parts," said one parent.

That parent, who wished not to be identified, said he got wind of the play after his son brought him the script over the weekend.

"The further into the script I got, he started pointing out parts that he (his son) was uncomfortable reading," the parent said.

It would be difficult for any high schooler to read any portion of the script for The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia, due to its extremely sexual nature.

"There's several bestiality scenes. There's scenes where they talk about one of the friends of the main character, a female, having sex with dogs," that parent said.

Another parent of one of the drama class members said the teacher wanted students to hide the play.

"He wanted the kids to keep it a secret from their parents," he said.

Both of those parents are beyond upset and wondering how the play got approved.

Debbi Burdick, who is superintendent of the Cave Creek Unified School District, told CBS 5 News, "We're very disappointed in the language in the play."

Why high school students were rehearsing it is under investigation she said.

"It's our standard practice to put the teacher on paid administrative leave, which is what we've done pending the outcome of the investigation," Burdick said.

She did provide a clue as to how the play slipped through the cracks.

"We don't check every lesson, everyday. We expect that to be something our own educators have a filter that they use."

Superintendent Burdick said, "We have always had a procedure at the high school for controversial material. We have tightened that up in this instance."

Cactus High's principal now will review all plays performed in class or publicly at the school.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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