17 year old Keansburg resident Brian Eckert, a valedictorian and an aspiring actor at Ocean County Vocational Technical School District Performing Arts Academy, used the “F” word in a school production of Cabaret, which his mother says was in the script, and is paying the price.

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The National Honor Society member, who has been accepted to four colleges including Columbia University has been given two days of in school suspension, a ban from one solo performance and letters of apology to the board and the musical’s teacher-directors.


Brian claims he’s being wrongfully punished for being “caught in the moment” which is an acting technique he’d learned from his teachers. He also says the school owes him an apology.


I think he’s right. If the word is in the script, then it’s on the writer. I think we put too much importance on “bad” words. One word is bad, but another, which means the exact same thing, is acceptable. George Carlin made a career out of pointing that out.


I admire Brian’s standing up for what he believes is wrong. It goes to the credibility of the performance. Sometimes it’s the word that makes the line and if it were important enough to leave in, you can’t blame the actor for saying it. Why should he compromise his own credibility by not saying it? If you’re so worried about people hearing it, then why put the play on at all?  What do you think? Should a student actor be punished for using the F word in a school performance of Caberet when it was in the script?