POLITICS

Justin Trudeau Ads: Drama Teachers Unhappy With Negative Attention (VIDEO)

04/24/2013 02:28 EDT | Updated 04/24/2013 02:47 EDT

What’s with the big hate-on for drama teachers in Canada?

First, it was the Tories’ new attack ad on Justin Trudeau’s leadership credentials and a mocking reference to the “two years” Trudeau spent as a “drama teacher.” (The sarcasm in the narrator’s voice as he says “drama” all but drips off the screen).

But the Liberals aren’t any better, countering with a response ad Tuesday that places Trudeau in front of a blackboard scrawled with math equations. What’s the Liberal message here? Our guy taught math, not drama?

Yup.

At least according to Trudeau’s chief adviser, Gerald Butts, who stressed on Twitter that Trudeau only temporarily taught drama.

“One of many falsehoods in #CPC ad. JT subbed in for a colleague on mat leave for 6 months to teach drama & poetry,” Butts tweeted.

Ah, thank goodness he wasn’t an ACTUAL drama teacher!

(As HuffPost Ottawa Bureau Chief Althia Raj reported in Contender: The Justin Trudeau Story, the Liberal leader taught elementary school math and high school French, humanities and drama between 1999 and 2001.)

Which made us wonder what the drama teachers of the world think about all this political posturing and insinuations about their chosen career?

They’re not happy about it, as it turns out.

Brooke Charlebois, president of the Council of Ontario Drama and Dance Educators, issued a statement denouncing the Tory ads.

“Suggesting that those who teach drama are unworthy of leadership, or somehow lesser than those who lead is ignorant of the true value of drama in developing young people,” she wrote.

The Council resents “the negative connotations" of the remark about Trudeau’s experience as a drama teacher. "Drama is a vital part of the curriculum at both the elementary and secondary school level,” the statement says, noting drama is one of four mandatory arts subjects in Ontario.

“Drama in fact, is a critical subject area that provides multiple tools and skills to help students to succeed in our very complex and ever changing modern world," the release says. "They develop imagination, creativity, emotional literacy, communication skills, problem solving, and other critical thinking skills. All of these are essential skills for the 21st century citizen.”

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