A high school drama teacher in suburban Cincinnati is apparently out of a job after choosing to stage “Legally Blonde,” the Broadway musical based on the hit movie starring Reese Witherspoon.
The teacher, Sonja Hansen, said school officials at Loveland High School gave her the choice of resigning or being fired, reports WLWT.
For its part, the school district issued a statement saying it was still considering her employment.
The musical debuted on Broadway 2007, the Los Angeles Times notes, and was deemed appropriate for general audiences. It follows the basic plot of the original movie — released in 2001 and rated PG-13. The main character is a seemingly ditzy sorority girl who follows her pompous ex-boyfriend to Harvard Law School.
“High schools are doing the show; community theaters are doing the show,” Hansen told the NBC affiliate. “There are no bad words in the music.”
However, some people in Loveland community thought the subject matter of the musical was too provocative for a local high school play. As a result, school officials cancelled the production even though the principal had previously approved it.
The cancellation was abrupt, according to the New York Daily News. The reason for the cancellation and the people behind the complaints which caused it remain unclear.
“I didn’t hear one complaint,” Hansen told WLWT. “My rehearsals are open. We rehearsed for three months, four nights a week (for) two hours a night.”
Students who gave their time to the cancelled production are understandably upset. They’ve signed petitions and taken to wearing t-shirts to school emblazoned with messages supporting their embattled teacher. Students are also utilizing social media to fight back.
“All the students love her,” student Shelby Smith told WLWT. “She does so much work and puts so much work into the plays.”
The school district has shelved auditions for the next play until officials complete a review of the drama department, reports the Daily News.