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Teacher may be fired for teaching 'Faust'

Feb. 6, 2006 at 3:42 PM

BENNETT, Colo., Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Parents claim all hell broke loose after a Bennett, Colo., grade school teacher exposed her students to a puppet version of the opera "Faust."

Music teacher Tresa Waggoner has been placed on paid leave pending an investigation into parents' claims their children suffered nightmares after seeing a 12-minute snippet of Gounods' 1959 "Faust," which was part of 33-year-old series called "Who's Afraid of Opera?" the Los Angeles Times reported.

The video shown to Waggoner's first-, second- and third-graders featured soprano Joan Sutherland talking to hand puppets about opera.

One the opera outtakes in the video was "Faust," which features the devil bargaining with Faust for his soul.

"It created a kind of firestorm," Bennet School District Supervisor George Sauter said. "We have people on both sides of the fence. Some are saying it's trying to promote the devil. Other people are defending the arts to the hilt."

Waggoner, a former opera singer, could either be fired or reinstated when Sauter delivers his report to the school board during its Feb. 16 meeting.

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