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Guarino Outlines Plan for 'Rent'

Marc Guarino
Marc Guarino

The following is the letter from THS Principal Marc Guarino released Tuesday afternoon regarding "Rent."

The Thespian Club Advisors, Mrs. Spillane and Mrs. Bolan, Dr. Cialfi and I have been in discussion regarding the performance of Rent: School Edition. The objective was to determine when and how the performance could take place in accordance with my original plan for the necessary learning opportunities that are essential as a preparatory process. Rent: School Edition provides opportunity for me to be in concert with the Thespian Club Advisors to implement an annual performance for the Trumbull High School stage.

The learning opportunities are essential. To plan for these, I will be working collaboratively with various groups. Our Intervention Specialist will be key in understanding the significant themes which will carry our cast and crew from production to performance and integrate them throughout the school.  We will look to partner with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to provide resources and training for our faculty, staff, and students. I will also consult with our student support staff, as well as our Advisory co-chairs to develop appropriate learning experiences through our Advisory program. 

Groups of students, in addition to the Thespians,  will contribute to our planned learning experience, such as Peer Leaders and members of the Link Crew. In addition, we are planning community outreach activities to acknowledge these themes. This also provides an excellent opportunity for the THS community to focus its civic and social expectations aligned to our core values and beliefs.

I believe that this process can be accomplished during the 2013/2014 school year if the performance dates can be delayed to Wednesday, April 30, dress rehearsal, through Sunday, May 4, 2014.

Marc W. Guarino

Principal, Trumbull High School

MAC December 11, 2013 at 12:54 AM
Good grief, Joan. Who are you to be telling the Principal of THS what he needs to do?! It's his responsibility to consider all the factors and what's best for ALL of the school and community--not just those in the theater dept. Those executive decisions are HIS to make, not yours to tell him what “he needs to” do! I certainly don't envy Mr. Guarino's life the last week or so. It has to have been stressful to the max, to have had the flood of complaints and PRESSURE (probably 24/7) for the last week or so......................................................................................... With such a controversial production as "Rent," it's not the typical musical that can be done without possible negative consequences for other students. That could especially be true for Christian students whose religious beliefs collide with the notion that homosexuality should be looked upon as perfectly normal............
D V December 11, 2013 at 06:11 AM
Please, back off from Joan a bit, MAC. It's not as if she's suggesting that his "original preparatory plan" (which must've gotten stuck to the bottom of a drawer somehow and only now was miraculously recovered) is a last-ditch face-saving measure, or anything of the sort. She's just pointing out a few factors that may not have been taken into consideration and offering them as suggestions. Like, for instance, keeping smelling salts on hand for all those Christian youths who stumble into his office all woozy from the collision you're predicting. Nothing wrong with that. Tell you what - if you think a crash course of prophylactic therapy is so beneficial, why don't you sit in on behalf of the rest of us grown-ups? You could report back to us here on what you've learned from the ADL sessions, for instance, and on any "negative consequences" that may ensue despite such well-intentioned efforts. I'm sure it won't take up too much space on any of these message boards, or long to prepare. I look forward to it. Cheers!
Vito Moscato December 11, 2013 at 07:53 AM
MAC - I don't think the principal is making any of these decisions. Kinda makes me wonder when the only communication from him is written. You are right about the stress, though.
CelticTee December 11, 2013 at 10:39 AM
And therein lies the issue at heart MAC - your statement "That could especially be true for Christian students whose religious beliefs collide with the notion that homosexuality should be looked upon as perfectly normal............ " is not acceptable in public school. People have free will, and, if they believe this, or any other function, is against their beliefs, then they can opt out. This town's right wingers (who are at the core of this whole decision) cannot mandate for everyone else what we can believe or what we choose to see, hear or voice. That is a constitutional right that we all have - liberals, Republicans, Democrats, atheists, Jews, Catholics, gay, straight, black and white and all the rainbow colors in between. If you don't want your child to be exposed to certain things, then send them to private school, preferably within your "Christian" denomination, where more authoritarian (read censored) control is allowed - and good luck with that as it's a big, wide, wild world out there.
Tony December 11, 2013 at 11:47 AM
MAC, where were you when THS produced Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat?
Kristy Ludlam Waizenegger December 11, 2013 at 01:25 PM
Yet another thread in which an anonymous poster (in this case celtic tee) further inflame a situation by making unfounded accusations against people. Sorry but it's just wrong and should not be tolerated.
CelticTee December 11, 2013 at 01:37 PM
Oh okay Waizenegger. You want my name? Molly Hurley - resident of Trumbull for 27 years. Two children that have gone through Trumbull public school system since first day up until graduation. Registered Democrat and I vote. Want my address? I'm in the phone book. I have two master's degrees in science and am a chemical researcher. You comment about me but MAC's unfounded rambles are okay, right? Yeah, right.
Vito Moscato December 11, 2013 at 01:43 PM
Served.
Tracey Lepore December 11, 2013 at 01:44 PM
I couldn't agree more Kristy. I believe that if everyone had to attach their proper name to their comments we would see an enormous reduction in the outrageous and inflammatory statements made on Patch and other social media. I have been reading with mild interest the colorful comments of MAC all over Patch the past few weeks. Very entertaining indeed, but I take them with a grain of salt. I have no respect for anyone who doesn't have the strength of character to put a face to their words. Anyone can hide behind a keyboard, bullies do it all the time. I will listen and maybe take you seriously MAC when you have the courage to take your mask off....maybe even you are embarrassed of what you are saying.
Kristy Ludlam Waizenegger December 11, 2013 at 02:07 PM
My comments apply to all anonymous users. I have said before that I believe all debate would be more civil if people had to use their real names and be fully accountable for their comments, myself included. In this case, celtic tee specifically accused a certain group of people as being responsible for this decision which IMO was wrong to do.
MAC December 11, 2013 at 02:34 PM
TL and others, the ideas and PRINCIPLES, and truth are what is important, in my view, not WHO makes the points. Usually when people start slinging ad hominem attacks at people who choose to use a screen name, it's because that person (the targeted one, me in this case) is using LOGIC or facts which cannot be refuted. Sorry to disappoint you, but your attempts to intimidate me into silence are not going to work, no matter how nasty you become in your frustration over your failure to get your way………………………...Scream at your computer--maybe that will help!..................................................................................... I'm standing for truth and the First Amendment rights of ALL, rather than parroting the now commonly accepted mantra of the homophile activists who have succeeded in controlling most of the entertainment (or at least theater and television) worlds............. “How 25 Years of Gay Activism in Hollywood Has Paid Off,” Robert Knight, 10/08/08.................................................................... http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2103321/posts
Tracey Lepore December 11, 2013 at 03:20 PM
Believe me MAC, intimidation is not my racket, that seems to be yours. and this "truth" you speak of is certainly relative. You are certainly free to spew whatever rhetoric you wish under whatever screen name you choose. I stand my my original statement. There would be considerably less commentary here and on most social media and I would guess even from the outrageous MAC, if he had to use his God-given name and reveal himself. period. Guess he doesn't want to attach these statements to the face his neighbors see when he is pulling out of his driveway, or standing in line at the bank or at Stop and Shop. That is the difference between you and me MAC, I am comfortable with my comments everywhere i go.
MAC December 11, 2013 at 03:52 PM
Just HOW have I "intimidated" anyone, Tracey?........................... And I used to be "comfortable with my comments everywhere," because I am simply affirming those Principles which are at the Foundation of society and nations, such as the importance of the Nuclear Family, and the Christian foundation of our Nation.................................................................................. However, since people were threatened, their jobs taken away from them in places like MA and MD for simply standing by their Christian beliefs, or donating to an organization; VANDALISM of personal, Church and Temple properties was committed post Prop 8 in CA; the Director of the Family Institute of CT had his life THREATENED; and the IRS and other government agencies are TARGETING individuals with conservative beliefs-----I do not choose to set myself up as such a "TARGET"!!!
CC December 11, 2013 at 06:00 PM
There are so many great plays to choose from, plays that would be appropriate for all ages. I don't understand why they would want to put on a play that would decrease their audience size. It should be something fun, something uplifting, something you could bring the whole family to.
D V December 11, 2013 at 10:01 PM
@Kristy&Tracey. Respectfully disagree. A fly-by over several nearby towns' Patch sites suggests fewer than half the posters appear to use real names. Even that many is unusual for internet message boards, in my experience. Maybe real-name posters have more incentive to be circumspect than anonymous posters, but it doesn't follow that an anonymous poster will necessarily be more abusive than he would have under his "God-given" (funny!) name. This is not Letters To The Editor, where contemplative writers take time and effort to craft a well-structured, persuasive missive with some substance behind it - a message board is a whole different ballgame. I think it's inadvisable to put your identity out there publicly on the internet for any reason when it can be avoided, and since it's within the rules not to, it seems pointless even to complain about it (not to mention off-topic, which really is poor form) (I know, this was off topic itself, but I felt compelled to respond - again).
Kristy Ludlam Waizenegger December 12, 2013 at 07:54 AM
Not complaining, just making an observation about the behavior of some anonymous users and asking that we all work to make this site a more civil place. This is not your typical chat room, this is a local source of news used largely by the residents of our relatively small town - neighbors. When we comment on this site, perhaps we should ask ourselves if we would hit submit if our real name was attached to the comment.
Vito Moscato December 12, 2013 at 08:13 AM
CC- If this play reaches the stage at THS it will be sold out.
Tracey Lepore December 12, 2013 at 08:35 AM
or it might be the proud parents, like myself of one of the Thespians, the families of these amazing kids, the student body, the faculty and an overwhelming majority of this community coming together as they always have to pack that auditorium in celebration of yet another triumph of THS Theater!
MAC December 12, 2013 at 08:45 AM
Yeah, Vito, maybe--but that will NOT be primarily due to town residents bringing their entire families and filling the auditorium. ............................................................................................ IF it does "sell out," it will be due to bringing in homophile activists from all over the tri-state, rejoicing in their victory of getting their way in this matter, after all the controversy they have inflamed in NY and beyond.
MAC December 12, 2013 at 09:05 AM
DV, your post last night about commenting anonymously is (surprisingly!) one with which I completely agree. (We did not even mention what the NSA does nowadays—and I’m not suggesting that we go even further off-topic to bemoan those facts.)................................................................................... However, I just need to inform you relative to your statement a few days ago, that you don’t want someone like me “phoning you at 3 A.M.”….Your statement there has absolutely NO MERIT. Your homophile activist side does that and much worse, such as vandalism and death threats. Our Conservative Christian side does NOT resort to any of those ‘tactics’ in our defense of traditional Family Values and the Moral Foundation of society and our state and Nation. ……………………………………………………................ I would NEVER phone you, or anyone I argue with on Patch or elsewhere—whether I know them or not—on this issue or many other subjects. These issues are NOT ‘personal’ to me/us. We are talking about Principles! (And please don’t bring up—your side’s tired old straw man—those despicable, hateful wack jobs—the Phelps family, who claim to be a ‘church’—who do NOT, at all, represent Christian conservatives.)
Vito Moscato December 12, 2013 at 11:16 AM
MAC - The majority will be Trumbull residents.
D V December 12, 2013 at 12:34 PM
@Kristy: I agree completely with your last. You may recall I thanked you for the "integrity check" in my reply to your (or Tracy's) first post on the subject. I take to heart your advice to post only what I would sign; you may call me on it if I slip up! No one has suggested that any among us would actually harass a neighbor and I myself have cast no such aspersons (contrary to a certain deliberate misquote, above). However, this board is read beyond town lines, and there are violent whackjobs on both sides of any controversial issue lurking among the lions, tigers and bears and various other internet-indigenous fauna to be feared. From now, I will consider the anonymous-vs-self-ascribed issue closed. Agree where we can, agree to disagree where we must.
Tracey Lepore December 12, 2013 at 12:35 PM
agreed!
MAC December 12, 2013 at 09:28 PM
DV, you did "cast such aspersons" [SIC] about people who disagree with the homophile agenda, when you wrote on 12/9 “I don't need some whackjob calling me at three in the morning"...Would you kindly explain how “phoning you at 3 A.M.” is a "deliberate misquote" from "calling me at three in the morning," which YOU wrote, and which has the same meaning!?... ........................................................................................... Now, if you are pleading innocence because you would never suspect someone like 'me, MAC' passionate as I am in my views (but expressing them CIVILLY) of being the "whack job" type to "actually harass a neighbor," perhaps you should have made that clear; instead of accusing me of making a "deliberate misquote.".. ............................................................................................That may be a mild accusation in itself, but unmerited, and you have called me a "boor," lacking in "good sense," "not susceptible to reason," a "bigot," and "pretty much irrelevant," among others................................................................................... Your opinion of me is actually "irrelevant" to me, because I stand on right PRINCIPLES (such as the Foundational necessity of the Nuclear Family) no matter the opposition—or what laws are passed…………………………............................................................ But your self-assessment of your posts as civil and “only what [you] would sign” are quite myopic! I will admit to being contentious at times—even often, regrettably, to stir up discussion—but I rarely indulge in ad hominem attacks, even though I’m the frequent recipient of them.
dave wilsoon December 12, 2013 at 11:20 PM
How about we have the play as originally planned and find a new principal? Do the taxpayers want to pay for this mockery forever? Will the teachers ever trust this coward, the guy that threw them under the bus because of his ineptness? We have failed these kids.
Matthew Chase December 13, 2013 at 12:24 AM
Dave & Mac: Maybe you two should get a room so you can babble to yourselves...please.
D V December 13, 2013 at 01:10 AM
You misquoted me as stating "someone like [you]" when "some whackjob" were my words. Whackjobs, I have explained, are ubiquitous. "Bigot" is strong, I agree, but it and a fitting but milder stand-in may be found not far apart in the thesaurus. Concerning the rest: What I have written, I have written, typo and all, and I claim all of it. As for what you have written: "Being contentious to stir up discussion" is the very dictionary definition of "boor" and descriptors are not arguments, ad hominem or otherwise. I will consider as being closed the issue of prior posts' civility (which word's root I have never applied to my own posts - your second misquote - and certainly not to the ones I corrected in concurrence with Kristy and Tracey). Caveat: none of us is obliged to meet anyone's standard of civility but his own - provided he keeps one that is reasonable. Standards of factual accuracy are more exacting.
MAC December 13, 2013 at 01:52 AM
As to "Standards of factual accuracy," DV, I quoted actual sources including the CDC, the "executive director of the Gay Men's Domestic Violence Program," and recent news items about homosexual Yale Asst. Prof. Samuel See (now deceased, mysteriously), recently married and within 3 months involved in Domestic Violence with his 'husband.' I was not spouting unsupported opinions, but citing some of the very real--and tragic--consequences of this lifestyle, which are depressingly exposed in this very production you are so eager for Trumbull HS students to perform! Ipso facto, why are you arguing my point about the very real negative consequences?!!............................. Is it that you think that real life is not challenging enough for these youths, and so they need to watch or participate in a depressing 'musical' about people using drugs, and getting sick and dying?
dave wilsoon December 13, 2013 at 07:49 AM
Time for a new principal- the last thing THS needs is another empty suit walking the halls.
MAC December 13, 2013 at 03:11 PM
DV, what have I written here, specifically, that is any kind of "abuse," unless you believe that citing uncomfortable facts can be considered such?................................................................... Once and for all, I am NOT homophobic, and do NOT support any bullying, hatred for or intimidation of any individual or group!....... I simply reject the narrow-focused activism that BULLIES and intimidates those with Christian, Jewish, and other traditional or religious views of Marriage, Family etc. into silence..................... Your posts to me, which this morning have now descended into a ‘threat’ (promise—“I will”) of getting me banned from Patch, are a perfect example of exactly that type of "bullying" and "attempts to silence" those of dissenting views/beliefs.

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