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Kids and Big-Name Stars Support Rafe Esquith

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Author: dianeravitch

The Los Angeles Unified School District removed Rafe Esquith from his 5th grade classroom at Hobart Elementary School, where he had become nationally acclaimed for creating the Hobart Shakespeareans.

He has not learned yet what offense he had supposedly committed. First, he was told that some people objected to his reference to nudity, while discussing Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” Then, the claim was made that he had abused a child 40 years ago, when he was a counselor at a Jewish day camp. Then that claim apparently was withdrawn.

Now the LAUSD wants the past 15 years of financial records from the Hobart Shakespeareans, a private nonprofit group that does not receive district funding.

In response to this request, actors Sir Ian McKellen and Hal Holbrook joined with past and present students of Rafe to explain what the group had done with its funding.

It is a terrific video, the kind that would make any teacher proud to be a teacher. Rafe has changed many lives. He has made a difference.

Please read Andrea Gabor’s take on the situation. No one can understand what LAUSD is up to or why.

It is time for LAUSD to produce charges and evidence or let Rafe teach.

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