Pop Guns Too Violent for High School Musical


Edison High School has altered a skit in its current stage production after a parent at the Huntington Beach school complained about guns and violence in the show.

Taken from the musical “The Band Wagon,” the 1953 song “Triplets” originally featured Fred Astaire and two other stars dressed in baby clothes and bonnets, singing of how they hate their parents, each other and wish they had no siblings. At one point, one of the “babies” pulls a gun and shoots the others.

Parent Ralph Rush said he was appalled that guns, even fake ones, would be used in a school play. Joking about sibling rivalry that leads to murder is inappropriate in light of school shootings across the nation and inconsistent with schools’ zero tolerance policies toward guns, he said.


“I actually wanted him to pull the skit from the performance, but at least it’s been changed to where other audiences won’t be exposed to it,” Rush said. “It’s a good step, but I think they need to review their policies about performances. Even joking about this is dangerous. It leads to ‘Oh, I hate my sister; oh, I saw this play, oh, the thing I should do is shoot my sister.’ ”

The skit was part of a production running through Sunday that features short, cabaret-style acts.

Edison Principal Brian Garland said he and drama faculty met after Rush called and decided to alter the words to the song, substituting “love” for “hate” and using teddy bears instead of pop guns.

Garland said the musical number, which also is featured in “That’s Entertainment II,” was intended to be humorous. The school is sensitive, however, to all concerns about violence, he said.

Also, Fred Astaire in baby clothes may convey an element of absurdity that is lost when teens are the actors, Garland said.