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Iowa parents want HS Laramie Project staging deep-sixed

Oh, please. The excuse the parents are using is that it’s all about the profanity. So far, the school is backing the play. (AP):

Some parents at Valley High School are upset over the school’s decision to let students perform “The Laramie Project,” a play based on Matthew Shepard, a University of Wyoming student who was killed because he was gay.

The play discusses homosexuality, uses profanity and contains violence. School officials said it teaches tolerance and acceptance of others. They hope the play will encourage families to discuss diversity, hate crimes and whether such behavior is acceptable.

“It is edgy, but it is for a mature audience,” said Phyllis Staplin, West Des Moines’ director of curriculum. “There is no doubt about it, this is providing a teaching opportunity for diversity and acceptance.”

…The parents said they plan to express their concerns to the school board on Sept. 18. “It is inappropriate material for high schools because of the profanity,” said Wendy Ogden, the parent of a drama student. “It’s not the issue of homosexuality that I don’t think should be discussed.

…Sara Sullivan said her daughter tried out for the play but found it difficult to find a part because she was uncomfortable with the profanity.

“The language is really inappropriate, and it kind of puts them in a predicament because they know it’s wrong,” she said.

An extremely successful staging of “Laramie” was put on here last year by the Durham School of the Arts, which I attended and covered because the Westboro Baptist freaks showed up to protest.

Earlier posts on the hubbub surrounding that fun:
* Durham HS receives award for The Laramie Project
* Triumphant production of The Laramie Project in Durham
* Photos from day two of the Phelps Hate Machine in Durham
* Local media coverage of Phelps clan’s visit to Durham
* First shots from the Westboro Baptist Church protest in Durham, NC


The cast and director, Doug Graves, of the Durham School of the Arts; Jonathan Phelps, screeching about “saving the gerbils” outside the theater.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding