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Portland, OR school bans 'The Laramie Project'

WTF is wrong with this principal? Has she seen the play?

The Durham School of the Arts won an award for its production of the play, facing down the Phelps family hate brigade. Portland folks should make a stink about this principal and the school district.

“The Laramie Project” was in production at Southridge High School when Principal Amy Gordon decided to pull the plug. She could not be reached for comment. The play chronicles the true story of Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old gay college student, who was killed seven years ago in Laramie, Wyo. The production — which has been performed at schools across the country including at a Hillsboro high school — pieces together the events surrounding the killing through the reactions of numerous residents of Laramie.

Members of the theater community are charging that the play is under attack because it features a gay character, not because of its sexual or vulgar content. Wade Willis, Southridge theater arts director, chose the play for its educational value and the challenge it would present student actors, he said.

“Everything I hear about presenting something ‘controversial’ is that you have to put forth all sides,” Willis told The Oregonian. “You can’t be more complete than this in presenting multiple points of view.” But Maureen Wheeler, a spokeswoman for the school district, said the play is considered controversial because it contains profanities and sexual content.

Did I miss something? I didn’t see anything remotely sexual going on in that play, unless the “sexual content” is the fact that people talk about a young gay man that is beaten to death. What bullsh*t.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding