2 New Jersey schools leave amateur performance of 'School of Rock' due to alleged inappropriate language

An amateur performance of School of Rock sparked some controversy at two New Jersey elementary schools after teachers made their students leave the theater due to coarse language. 

Over 150 fifth grade and third grade students, and accompanying staff and chaperons, from Hartford Upper Elementary School and Kellman Brown Academy left a midday performance at the Ritz Theater in Haddon Township.

Kelly Hill chaperoned the field trip for her fifth grade daughter, and said while there was some language that may have been inappropriate, she was caught off-guard by the teachers decision. 

"I really didn't understand what was going on, I just saw one of the teachers get the kids in the front row and have them all stand up and walk out," Hill said. 


"It was enough where I thought to myself like ‘the school is going to get some phone calls later' but I didn't think we would leave because of it."

The Ritz Theater Company claims it spoke with both schools before the Wednesday performance and explained that the show contains occasional strong language. The theater posted about the incident on their Facebook page and called the walk-out "a disservice to the cast and crew who all took the time to perform the show."

Hill returned to the Ritz Theater with her daughter on Friday night to watch the performance in-full. The theater says students who were forced to leave can return to a future show for free. 

"The majority of people I as with didn't want to leave," Hill said. "I felt really bad because the performers actually said ‘umm, let’s just pause for a minute while they do what they have to do'."

The superintendent of Mount Laurel Schools told FOX 29's Jennifer Joyce over the phone that they support the teachers decision to leave the performance because it was in the best interest of the children. 

A spokesperson for Kellerman Brown Academy said in a statement they "did not perceive our decision to leave the show as controversial. The school also added that they were "disappointed" in the theater's decision to post the incident on social media and "misrepresent our intentions."