Gounod’s Faust in plot to capture childrens’ souls….

My English horn playing friend Cary Ebli forwarded the following to me. No further comment is necessary, other than YIKES!

Colorado Teacher Who Played Faust Video Is Looking for New Job

By Vivien Schweitzer
10 Mar 2006

Tresa Waggoner, the Bennett, Colorado, schoolteacher placed on administrative leave after she showed a video clip of Faust to her students, told PlaybillArts today that she is looking for a new job.

A local paper had reported that Waggoner would not be allowed to return to her post in the school, located in a small town about 25 miles east of Denver. Waggoner said superintendent George Sauter refused to confirm or deny the report; frustrated by the lack of information, she plans to leave Bennett.

Sauter told Waggoner that she would remain on paid administrative leave, but added that it would be “too much of a disruption” to parents and students to bring her back into the classroom, according to Waggoner.

According to Waggoner, 53 people at a February 16 school board meeting supported her return to the school while six opposed it. Bennett parents have shown their support by sending Waggoner flowers and letters and attending her performances at church.

Sauter was unavailable for comment.

The uproar began when Waggoner showed a video clip of Gounod’s Faust, narrated by Joan Sutherland and featuring singing sock puppets. She had hoped to pique the curiosity of the first, second, and third graders in one of her classes about opera, and chose Faust to teach the children about bass and tenor voices, the use of props, and “trouser roles” in opera.

This led to accusations that the married mother of two was a lesbian promoting homosexuality; the plot of Faust, where the title character sells his soul to the devil to recapture his youth, led to her being labeled a devil worshipper.

She has been on paid administrative leave since January 30.

According to the Rocky Mountain News, Bennett mayor Karen Grossiant resigned in February, saying Waggoner’s removal was the “last straw.” She told the paper that Bennett, population 2,500, “has a mean-spirited undertone.”

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