Part Three: The Script

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Keeping the "Art" in FArt Jokes (Working Title)

Scene 1: School’s Argument

The fifth graders of South Park Elementary, including Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman, are in art class. Art supplies (scissors, crayons, construction paper, glue) are strewn about the tables at which the children sit. A poster on the back wall reads “Keep the Art in Smart.”

Cartman (happily rocking back and forth, practically singing the lines): “Friday art class/Friday art class/I love art so much/because art is super cool/especially on Friday…”

Kyle: “Cartman, you only like Friday art class because Ms. McGee gives us Twizzlers on Friday, you fatass.”

Cartman: “Screw you! I am not fat—Ms. McGee says I’m ‘Ruben-esque.’”

A new teacher enters the classroom; the children respond with puzzled looks.

New Teacher (chirpily): “Hello children, I’m your new art teacher, Ms. Adkins. Now I’d like you all to take out your toothpicks and Elmers glue—today we’re making toothpick sculptures!”

All the children in the class sit motionless, staring blankly at Ms. Adkins.

Stan: “Ummm, where’s Ms. McGee?”

Ms. Adkins: “Ms. McGee won’t be teaching you art anymore; I will. Now let’s all get some toothpicks and start thinking about what we want to…”

Cartman (interrupting, trying to control himself, but clearly pissed): “Look lady, I don’t know who you are or why you’re here, but I don’t see any goddamn Twizzlers. So why don’t you just go get Ms. McGee and bring her back here and we can forget that this unpleasantness ever happened, ok?”

Stan: “Yeah, what happened to Ms. McGee? She was like the only cool teacher at this school. Is she ok?”

Ms. Adkins: “Oh dear, I can see I’m going to have to explain this all to you. Ms. McGee won’t be teaching you art anymore because the school has fired her. You see children, last week, when Ms. McGee took you to the South Park Museum of Art, some students saw nude artworks that parents found very objectionable. Some parents who found out that their children had been exposed to nudity on a school field trip told Principal Victoria about the incident, and Principal Victoria fired Ms. McGee.”

Kyle: “What?! Who the hell told on Ms. McGee? Whose ignorant redneck parents got her fired?”

Ms. Adkins: “The parents have chosen to remain anonymous. The school respects everyone’s rights to privacy. Parents have to feel comfortable voicing their concerns and shouldn’t have to worry that…”

Kyle: “So the school fired Ms. McGee just because some cowardly ignorant hillbillies got mad about their kids seeing naked statues?”

Ms. Adkins (sternly): “Now Kyle, those parents are not ignorant hillbillies; they voiced valid concerns and it was the school’s responsibility to respond to those concerns as it did. You see children, parents have a very difficult and important job; they have to figure out what kinds of things are appropriate for their kids to see, and what things aren’t. It’s especially important for them to protect you from sexual material that is inappropriate for your age and for the values your parents want you to have. The school takes its responsibility to parents very seriously; we respect and support all parents’ rights to make their own choices about what sexual material their children should and shouldn’t see. That means that whenever their child might be exposed to something offensive, like the nude statues at the museum, teachers must notify that child’s parents, so that the parent can make an informed, responsible decision.

When Ms. McGee allowed students to see nude art at the museum, without informing their parents of it, she failed in her duty as a teacher and betrayed those parents’ trust. She took away those parent’s right to decide what’s appropriate for you to see; it was disrespectful and irresponsible. Our school’s greatest asset is that parents can trust our judgment when it comes their children’s safety, both physical and emotional. When she showed you nude artworks, Ms. McGee lost parents’ trust, both in herself and in the school. Ms. McGee displayed such a serious lack of judgment that it called into question her fitness as a teacher, both in the eyes of the parents who entrusted their children to her and in the eyes of her fellow teachers and South Park Elementary staff. Her disrespect for parents’ rights and her irresponsible conduct have no place at this school. Now, I can promise you I won’t make the same mistakes she made, and I’m sure we’re going to get along just wonderfully!”

Stan: “This is total bullcrap! We love Ms. McGee! They can’t fire her because some kids saw an old statue’s nuts!”

Kyle: “Yeah, she was the best teacher at this school! She actually made art class kind of fun. Everyone else at this school is either boring as hell or a raging bitch!”

Kenny: [Indecipherable muffled exasperated speech]

Cartman (his face slightly uncomprehending but extremely serious): “So, let me see if I’ve got this straight. You will now be the one giving us Twizzlers on Friday?”

Ms. Adkins: “Oh no, I don’t believe in rewarding kids with candy. But if you do a really good job, you can have a sticker. You can choose between a unicorn and a rainbow!”

Cartman (to Stan, Kyle, and Kenny, dead serious): “We’ve got to get rid of this bitch.”

Scene 2: Chef’s Spooked

Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman are in line at lunch. They come up to take their trays from Chef.

Chef: “Hello children. How’s it going?”

Stan: “Bad Chef.”

Chef: “Why bad?”

Kyle: “Those assholes fired Ms. McGee, just because on our field trip kids saw some naked statues and junk. We think it’s total crap and we miss Ms. McGee.”

Chef: “Now, children, what Ms. McGee did was a bad, bad thing. School is no place for children to be learning about sex or looking at naked people. You should concentrate on learning arithmetic and grammar. Dirty pictures don’t have any place in your education. You just get that smut, and Ms. McGee, out of your head.”

Cartman: “Well can’t you sing us a song to help us feel better Chef?”

Chef: “No. Now enjoy your Salisbury steak.”

Stan: “But Chef, usually we come to you with a problem and you sing us a song about making sweet love down by the fire…”

Chef (nervous and agitated, interrupting, speaking very loudly as if someone might be listening in): “Now don’t talk crazy like that children! I’d never do anything like that. You shouldn’t joke about that sort of thing! Now you kids run along.”

Kyle: “What are you talking about Chef? You love making sweet love down by the fire with your and…”

Chef (loud angry whisper): “Will you shut up! Are you children trying to get me fired? Now get out of here and don’t you say nothing about no ‘making love’ and no ‘fireplace’ to nobody, got it!?”

Startled, the children take their trays and walk away.

Stan: “Jesus. What the hell’s wrong with Chef?”

Kyle: “Don’t you see? Now that Ms. McGee got fired for letting kids see those naked statues, all the teachers are scared they’re going to fired too if they say or do something that offends someone’s parents and then they get ratted out.”

Stan: “Dude, that sucks.”

Cartman: “What so now no Twizzlers and Chef’s not talking to us? Son of a bitch!”

Kenny: Indecipherable mumbling

Kyle: “I agree, Kenny, this is bullcrap. We’ve got to do something about it.”

Scene 3: The Broflovskis

Kyle comes home. Mr. and Mrs. Broflovski are on the couch watching television.

Kyle: “Hey Mom, hey Dad.”

Mrs. Broflovski: “Hi Stan. How was your day?”

Kyle: “Terrible. The school fired our art teacher Ms. McGee and it’s total bullcrap Ms. McGee took us on a fieldtrip last week, and when we...”

Mr. Broflovski: “Oh yeah, we know all about it.”

Kyle: “You do? How?”

Mr. Broflovksi: “The Principal called a special meeting of the PTA on Tuesday, where she explained the whole thing. She said that parents who were offended had requested that she fire Ms. McGee, but that she wanted to see what the PTA had to say about the incident before she made her decision. So we held a vote, and the PTA overwhelmingly voted to support firing Ms. McGee.”

Kyle: “So you knew they were going to fire her and you didn’t even tell me? How could you let them fire her?”

Mrs. Broflovksi: “Well honey, we didn’t let them fire her—in fact we voted to support firing her.”

Kyle: “What?!!!! How could you do that? All us kids love Ms. McGee. You can’t fire her just because some kids saw some naked statues!”

Mrs. Broflovksi: “Oh dear. Kyle, I’m afraid you’re too young to understand. You see honey, we work so hard at home to make sure you’re protected from the violence and smut that’s out there. As parents have to put a lot of trust in the teachers that we send their children to. And we have to hold those teachers accountable when, without our permission, they show you violent or sexual material that we don’t approve of.”

Kyle (suspicious, accusatory): “But you guys take me to museums all the time, and there’s tons of naked statues and paintings in them. You guys even showed me naked statues and said they were great and historic works of art. So how can you say you were offended by the statues that kids saw on the field trip?”

Mr. Brovlofski: “Of course we don’t mind that you saw a naked statue. But there are some parents who felt very, very offended by what their kids saw. They’re a minority of devout Christians in the community, but we have to respect their values and support their rights, even though their beliefs about nudity are different from the majority’s beliefs. We’re minorities too, Kyle, and you still want people to respect and support us, don’t you? We’re the only Jewish family in town. If we didn’t stand up for ourselves and demand that the school respect for our religious values, then there would be no kosher lunches available for you in the cafeteria and no Hanukkah songs in the holiday choir recital. You certainly don’t want other families to tell us that our concerns don’t matter just because they’re ‘Jewish concerns’, do you? We expect other parents to support us in looking out for you, even though they’re not Jewish. Likewise, those parents have different religious values from us, and in order to protect those values, they demanded that Ms. McGee be fired because of how badly she offended those values. Just like us, they’re a religious minority in the community, and just like us they deserve respect. We want everyone to support us when we stand up for our beliefs, so we have to support them when they stand up for theirs.”

Kyle (completely nonplussed): “Dude, the kids saw a naked statue. You can’t fire a teacher for that, just because some Bible-thumping inbred redneck thinks that an ancient masterpiece is pornography. This is total bullshit!”

Mr. Broflovksi (angry): “You see Kyle, that kind of intolerance, and filthy language, and back-talk are exactly the reasons why we parents have to be careful about what we let you see! You must have learned this kind of filth and disobedience at school, because you damn sure didn’t learn it in this house! Maybe those Christians have the right idea, after all! Now you go to your room young man!”

A scene cut indicates some time has passed. Kyle is sitting on the floor of his room, angrily bouncing a rubber ball off the wall and catching it. Mr. Broflovski enters.

Mr. Broflovski: “Kyle, can I talk to you? I hope now that you’ve had some time you can see that we did the right thing.”

Kyle: “No Dad, I can’t. In the first place, you can’t honestly tell me that you think those Christians are some neglected minority in this town. They get whatever they want! And second, even if you do think they’re right to be offended, that doesn’t mean that it’s right to fire Ms. McGee over something this small. You wouldn’t demand that they fire Chef because he forgot to make a kosher lunch.”

Mr. Broflovski (sighing): “You really are a lawyer’s son, aren’t you. I guess it’s time I talked to you about how things really work in this town. The truth of the matter is that I’d rather Ms. McGee weren’t fired either…”

Kyle (interrupting): “Then why the hell didn’t you try to save her job?”

Mr. Broflovski: “Well Kyle, the fact is that we can’t beat the evangelicals on every issue where we disagree with them. When the evangelical parents get mad about an issue, the entire evangelical community comes to help them, and most of the time they can guilt the moderate Christians in town into taking their side. There are just too many of them, and they’re too well-organized, energetic, zealous, and influential around here. There are only so many times that the rest of us parents can beat them before we’re completely exhausted and overwhelmed. So we have to pick our battles.

This battle was one we shouldn’t have picked, and probably couldn’t win. You know how crazy those fundamentalists get over nudity, and how much they distrust the school. When Ms. McGee showed you guys nude art, we knew right away that the fundamentalists were going to call for her head, and they weren’t going to stop, not in a hundred years, until they got it. And really, Ms. McGee should have known better than to show you guys nude statues and pictures—she’s knows what parents in this town are like. I don’t know why she did it or why she thought she could get away with it, but the fact is she put her own head on the chopping block. For us to save it would have been almost impossible.

Kyle: “So what, so you just let them win every time they want something? So when they decide that we should all do book reports on the New Testament and have prayer meetings every morning, you’re not going to do anything about that either?”

Mr. Broflovski: “No Kyle, that’s different. Those are the battles that we fight for you. When those parents want to change school policy, like if they want to force teachers to stop teaching evolution to you in science class, that’s when we have to fight. And those are the battles we have to win, so we have to put all our time and energy into winning those. We can’t go to the mat every time the evangelicals do something we think is silly or wrong because we have to be ready to fight them when they do something we think is really dangerous. Even though Ms. McGee is gone, you guys will still learn art. Heck, you’ll probably still be able to take field trips to the museum as long the school is reasonably careful. We want to do what’s best for you Kyle, and sometimes doing what’s best means letting the small things go so that we can be ready to take care of the big things.”

Kyle: “Oh, you think this is a ‘small thing!’” Well it’s not small to Ms. McGee. All she knows is being a teacher, and being with us kids, and they took that away from her. What the hell is she now, huh? What’s left for her? And do you know she has problems with her heart? That’s why they have to have subs for her so often. What’s she going to do with no job and no insurance? She was the best goddamn teacher at that school, and we all liked her, and now she’s gone. It’s small to you, but it’s not small to her and it’s not small to me.”

Kyle hops into his bed and turns away from Mr. Broflovski. Mr. Broflovski turns to leave Kyle’s bedroom.

Mr. Broflovski: “I’m sorry, Kyle. I know one day you’ll understand.”

Mr. Broflovski leaves and closes the door.

Scene 4: The Marshes

Stan comes home. His parents are on the couch watching television.

Mr. Marsh: “Hi son, how was school?”

Stan: “Awful. The school fired our art teacher Ms. McGee, just because we went on this fieldtrip last week and saw some naked statues and junk. It’s total bullcrap.”

Mrs. Marsh: “Oh yes, we know all about it.”

Stan: “What? How did you guys find out?”

Mr. Marsh: “We were at the meeting where the PTA voted to support the school firing Ms. McGee.”

Stan: “You were? How could you let them do that?”

Mr. Marsh: “Oh Stan, we didn’t let them…we did everything we could to stop it, to persuade the parents who were going along with the school’s decision to join our side instead. We called them Bible-thumping hillbilly morons. We called them reactionary redneck trailer trash. We even called them ignorant redneck ass-faces. But we just couldn’t make them see the light.”

Stan: “So…you called them a bunch of names?”

Mr. Marsh (sighing): “I’m afraid you’re just too young to understand how grown-ups debate. You see, the kind of people who would object to nude statues in museums are really, really stupid. If they were less stupid, they’d agree with us that nude artworks are perfectly fine for children to see. So, in order to get those people to agree with us, we have to get them to understand just how stupid they are. Once they realize that they’re basically retarded, then they can understand that they shouldn’t try to argue with the smart people like us. Only then will they accept that what we’re telling them is the right thing to do. Unfortunately, sometimes people are just so stupid that they can’t even see how stupid they are. No amount of name calling will get through to them. And when that happens, as it did at that last PTA conference, you just can’t win.”

Stan: “Well it’s not fair. Me and the other guys want to do something about it. What can we do to help Ms. McGee?”

Mr. Marsh: “I’m sorry son. Back in the Sixties, I would have fought this injustice until the last breath in my body was spent. I’d yell insults at those goddamn hillbillies until my throat was raw. But things change son, and now your mother and I really, really like ABC’s primetime lineup. If we miss even one episode of Lost, or Hope and Faith, it might throw our entire viewing schedule off, and we just can’t take that chance. I’m afraid we can’t help you, son.”

Stan (under his breath, walking upstairs to his room): “They are so goddamn weird.”

Scene 5: The Cartmans

Cartman is on the couch, with a huge pile of Twizzlers on his lap. He is gulping them down desperately, talking to his Mom as he chews.

Cartman: “…and then she said there wouldn’t be any Twizzler Fridays! Now we have Gay Unicorn Sticker Fridays! This is total bullcrap! I can’t take it!”

Cartman’s Mom (paying no attention, while cleaning up the empty licorice wrappers): “That’s nice dear.”

Scene 6: Monday Lunch

Kyle, Stan, Cartman, and Kenny pick up their lunch trays and go over to Chef’s station. To their surprise, they find a skinny white guy in a chef’s hat behind the lunch counter.

New Chef: “Hello children. Today’s lunch is beef stroganoff.”

Kyle: “Hey, where’s Chef?”

New Chef: “Chef doesn’t work here anymore. He took a job at Colorado Springs Elementary.”

Stan: “What? Why?!”

New Chef: “Here, he left this note for me to give anyone who asked.”

New Chef hands Stan a note, which Stan reads while the other three read it over his shoulder. It says: “Dear Children,Your crazy cracker-ass parents have gone too far. I’m leaving before they get me fired me too. Good luck, Chef.”

Kyle: “No way! That is the last fucking straw! Our parents fired got our favorite teacher fired, scared Chef away…”

Cartman (interrupting): “Took away our goddamn Twizzlers…”

Kenny: [angry indecipherable mumbling]

Stan: “Yeah, that too! I agree Kenny, we can’t let this go on anymore.”

Cartman: “Well what the hell are we supposed to do about it?”

Stan: “I’ll tell you what we can do…”

Stan gathers his friends in a huddle. After a moment, the four of them disperse through the lunchroom spreading the word to all the other students.

Scene 7: The Walkout

The kids are in their regular classroom. Mr. Garrison is teaching a World History lesson.

Mr. Garrison (back turned to students, writing on the board): “…and so you see children, that is why most ehtnomusicologists maintain that Best Kept Secret is Sheena Easton’s finest album, while those who argue that her best work is A Private Heaven are just retards. Any questions? No? Well good then, it’s time to go to art class.”

Stan (standing up): “We’re not going.”

Mr. Garrison: “What are you talking about?”

Stan: “They fired Ms. McGee and scared away Chef, the only two people at this school we liked. We’re not going to let them do it without a fight. You can punish us all you want, but we’re not going to Ms. Adkins’ stupid art class any more. We’re walking out!”

All the children stand and shout in unison: “Yeah!”

Mr. Garrison: “Now look children, you’ve got to go to art class. If you don’t you may never learn how to trace your hands and turn them into turkeys, and in the real world you…”

As he’s talking, the children determinedly file out of the room.

Mr. Garrison: “Oh screw it.”

Mr. Garrison pulls out and begins flipping through an issue of Us magazine.