A parent in East Stroudsburg, Pa. has complained after his third-grade son at Resica Elementary was assigned a play called “Goldilocks and the Cops” in which Goldilocks gets busted for vandalism and breaking and entering.
Furious father Miguel Velez told the Pocono Record that he finds the modern spin on “The Three Bears” insulting to police. Velez also called the language inappropriate for third-graders.
Local school board member and 27-year police veteran Ronald Bradley said he found the story offensive as well.
The two-page play by Linda Hoyt (published by Heinemann Publishing) contains all the recognizable plot points: Goldilocks walks into the bears’ cottage, eats their porridge, breaks a chair and then goes upstairs to check out the beds.
In this version, though, one of three narrators calls Goldilocks a “crazy girl.” Also, Mama Bear summons the police, who promptly arrest Goldilocks and march her to see her mother.
The three narrators then explain how the cops give the mom “an earful about how her daughter deserved to be in jail” for crimes including “breaking and entering,” “vandalism” and “general uncontrolled behavior.”
In the end, everyone lives happily ever after except Goldilocks, who gets grounded for a year.
Velez told the Pocono Record that he was “utterly disgusted” by his eight-year-old son’s assignment.
“I think that the story, within itself, had a total disrespect for parenting,” he added.
Last Tuesday, Velez attempted to distribute copies of the play to parents of other children outside the school during pickup time. This action brought a visit by campus security officers, which Velez said caused him embarrassment.
Gail Kulick, the principal at Resica Elementary, stressed that the play encourages students to analyze the traditional telling of Goldilocks.
The bastardized version is not a required part of the Common Core curriculum, she noted, but it does fit seamlessly into the Common Core scheme because it promotes the kind of critical thinking the Common Core’s creators want to instill.
Kulick also argued that the play is also likely to keep kids focused.
“We already are competing with trying to keep their attention,” the principal explained to a Pocono Record reporter.
“They arrested her because, in the story, she broke in and she vandalized, which is breaking the law,” Kulick added.