HAMBURG, NY - The Interim Superintendent of Hamburg Central Schools has issued a letter to the community, in response to issues raised by a parent at Wednesday night's school board meeting.
As reported by WGRZ-TV on Wednesday, Terry Dunford, the father of three Hamburg Middle School students, says he would never allow them to watch the movie "The Shining." But last week, his 13-year-old daughter came home from school and told him her special education teacher showed her class clips from that famous horror flick, and other R-rated films.
In a letter posted on the district's web site, Hamburg Interim Superintendent of Schools Rick Jetter says in part:
"I want to assure you that our teachers and staff maintain a wonderful professional environment as we all work hard to engage your children and strive to do what is best for them each and every day as it pertains to maintaining the safety and security of our students.....Not to provide any excuses to deter us from examining this issue, our staff did not intentionally try to harm anyone under their care. We have worked hard to address this issue in more than 5 face-to-face meetings and/or phone conferences since last Thursday and we will continue to examine our curriculum and make any adjustments as needed.
The materials shown to the students included a video produced by Scholastic Inc. and according to both the company and the school district, it was part of a unit that students were studying had to do with Edgar Allen Poe's mastery of creating literary suspense.
A copy provided to WGRZ-TV by Scholastic (and which you can see by clicking one of the video players in this story) does not contain some of the material that Dunford's daughter told him she saw in class.
This is an indication, perhaps, that the teacher used additional materials as part of the lesson, which is something Dunford says he was told as well.