The school district stated that it "should have done more outreach to dialogue about the sensitivity of this performance with the Shorewood and greater Milwaukee community." Moving forward, the District promised to "continue to encourage staff and students to engage in meaningful performances surrounding contemporary issues with the appropriate amount of outreach and dialogue."
On Sunday, the district announced its new plans in an e-mail to parents – including a production of the once-shuttered show now scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m. at the Shorewood High School auditorium.
Dear Parents and Guardians,
From Wednesday through late tonight, I have heard from and met with individuals and groups about the cancellation of our play " To Kill A Mockingbird." A common theme among both supporters of the cancellation and supporters of the performance was the need to engage in these difficult conversations about race and racial inequities as a way to improve our schools and our village.
We will launch these conversations this week with two events:
A Community Conversation on Race on Tuesday, October 16th from 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m. in the Shorewood High School Auditorium.
A performance of "To Kill A Mockingbird" on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Shorewood High School Auditorium. A community talkback will occur after the performance. Information about tickets will be provided in another email.
We encourage all community members to come to both events. We will be working closely with the Shorewood Police Department to make sure the previous concerns around safety and security are addressed.
The District is committed to continuing these honest conversations about race as a way to identify areas for improvement, recognize the voices of students of color, and bring the community together.
Thank you to the students, parents, staff and community members who contributed to the conversation this past week. It has been a difficult four days. I appreciate your honesty and your patience and look forward to continuing these conversations with you throughout the year.
-Dr. Bryan Davis
Shorewood School Superintendent
The award-winning Shorewood Drama program has operated since 1935, and the students in the performance had created a video that addressed the show's language and topics. It was set to screen before the production and was posted on Facebook.
A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.
He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.
Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.
He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.
He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.