Texas Art Teacher Assigned Students to Perform Puppet Show Murder, District Says


Getty Different puppets (not used in the Texas incident).

A Texas substitute teacher is accused of making students perform a puppet show that included a murder. Students told the school district that the art teacher “assigned them to perform a puppet show in which at least one puppet had to be murdered,” a press release from the district says.

In the April 19 news release, the Hayes Consolidated Independent School District wrote that the substitute teacher had been suspended “pending investigation.”

A parent, who wanted to be anonymous, told Fox4KC: “I am floored. I am angry. I’m shocked. There’s no lesson here. This is not okay. These are kids. It’s harmful.”

The parent told the television station that her daughter called her immediately about the assignment.

“She called me telling me that their theater teacher was telling them that they were gonna have to reenact a violent school shooting, where they had to actually pretend to die,” the parent told Fox4C. “You don’t have students, 16-year-old, 17-year-old students reenact something that they’re truly afraid of.”

The School District is located in Kyle, Texas.

Here’s what you need to know:

The District Says a Group of Students Reported That Their Performance ‘Would Have Involved a Mass Shooting’

According to the district’s news release, “Johnson High School and Hays CISD placed a substitute theater arts teacher on suspension status and removed the teacher from campus on Friday afternoon following concerns expressed by students about an in-class assignment.”

The district also says one of the student groups planned to showcase a mass shooting as part of the puppet show.

Students reported that the substitute teacher “assigned them to perform a puppet show in which at least one puppet had to be murdered. Additionally, one group of students reports that their performance would have involved a mass shooting, though it is not clear if that was the specific assignment or a scene created to meet the parameters of the assignment,” the release says.

The parent told Fox4KC, “They did it one time. He said, ‘It wasn’t violent enough,’ and made them do it again.”

“She has told me in the past that it’s not the first time that this particular substitute teacher does something like this,” the parent alleged to Fox4KC. “There have been times other times when he wants to reenact or go through violent situations.”

The Texas School District Called the Puppet Show Assignment ‘Disturbing’

hays csd

Facebook (Hays CSD)Hays CSD

The School District’s press release called the puppet show assignment “disturbing and unacceptable conduct.”

“Either way, assigning or allowing this type of performance, if proved to have occurred, would be disturbing and unacceptable conduct for an educator in Hays CISD,” the district wrote.

“The school and the district apologize to the students and their parents for any distress this has caused and pledges to ensure that it does not happen again,” it says.

“The substitute teacher was hired by Hays CISD in January 2024. In addition to the investigation alleged in today’s incident, the district will also be reviewing potential other general classroom management concerns,” the release noted. “Based on the investigation, the substitute could be asked not to return to Hays CISD schools. And, if warranted, appropriate reports and referrals would be made to law enforcement and the Texas Education Agency educator misconduct portal.”

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