Students are being deprived of the opportunity to discuss the world as it is in all its glory and tragedy. They grow up not knowing how to talk about controversial topics, how to listen respectfully to differing opinions, how to live in peaceful tolerance in a world that is messy and does not remove sources of conflict to put the sensitive at ease. When we simply pretend the complicated does not exist, we are damaging the healthy growth of our young people. Art is the best way to introduce these necessary topics in all their confusing complexity into conversation.
To shelter students from the “real” goings on of the world is simply illogical. High school is a tumultuous time driven by hormones, mixed with anxieties and confusion. The last thing any of us in high school can relate to is The King and I, which, might I add, couldn’t be more outdated and racist, but still we do it. High school should be a time when we push students outside their comfort zones.