TORONTO, Oct. 26, 2018 /CNW/ - Some students and parents have expressed deep concern about a performance that took place last week at the Bishop Strachan School, where I am Head. The performance was staged by Box Clever Theatre, a theatre company that is well respected in the U.K., including by the Arts Council of England. The play, which is based on Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice and draws attention to the enduring and insidious impacts of anti-Semitism in Shakespeare's time and since then, had previously been performed by Box Clever at Oxford High School in the U.K., while I was Head of that school. It was well received, and I had no complaints regarding that performance. I understand that Box Clever has been invited to perform the play at the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom on November 14th.
I have spent my career in education. I have been head of school at three girls' schools, including two in the U.K. and now Bishop Strachan School. I am committed to helping young women grow into reflective and informed members of society. As an educator, I believe that it has never been more important for us as to equip our daughters to deal with uncomfortable social issues and learn how to participate effectively in the often contentious debates that surround them. If our shared goal is to nurture a generation of strong, independent female leaders, we must stick to these core principles even in the face of occasional controversy.
I would never deliberately offend students entrusted to my care or their parents. That was not my intention. I deeply regret that that there was not a plan in place to ensure that teachers were fully prepared to engage the students on the play. As Head the responsibility for that oversight ultimately rests with me. I deeply regret any hurt or offence that has been caused by this, and any damage that it has done to members of the broader BSS community or to BSS, an institution that I deeply respect.
SOURCE Henein Hutchison LLP
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