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A Homestead High School theater tradition has led to the suspension of teacher Amelia Figg-Franzoi.

A post on a Facebook group page supporting Figg-Franzoi said the incident is related to a tradition at Homestead known as the "Ass-Platter."Dating back years before Figg-Franzoi's tenure at the school, the tradition involves a friendly competition among students over the most popular scene during a theater production.

The winners get to spank the runners-up with a dinner plate-sized metal platter — the "Ass Platter" — passed down to each successive high school class.

The post said the ritual is performed by students alone, participation is voluntary, and is not organized or facilitated by Figg-Franzoi or any other teacher. According to Homestead High School senior student and Drama Club Co-president Silma Barrada, she was called to principal Brett Bowers' office where the platter was taken away.

Figg-Franzoi, who has been the school's drama teacher for the past seven years, received notice that some administrators had recommended to Superintendent Matthew Joynt that she be fired, according to a Facebook post by the group Friends for Amelia Figg-Franzoi, started by an unknown source. Barrada said she wasn't told why, and she didn't ask why.

Rather than firing Figg-Franzoi, the district placed her on leave, according to a statement released Wednesday night, Nov. The statement did not refer to her by name, but did refer to her role as a teacher and theater director. But Barrada said she felt something was wrong when Figg-Franzoi wasn't at school, and didn't attend a show held after the school participated in the One Act sectional competition Saturday, Nov 4."At first, we just assumed she was sick for the first couple days, but we knew something worse happened, but no one told us anything," Barrada said.

Students and parents protested the decision at a meeting Tuesday, Nov.

14, at the school, according to an article in the high school's newspaper, Highlander Online.

Bowers, Joynt and district human resources director Sarah Zelazoski were at that meeting, Barrada said."So many parents came.

Parents of current students, parents of alums, students were even in the room, and we just tried getting some answers about what's happening with Ms.

Figg, if there's an investigation going on," Barrada said.

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