Washington state high school production of 'The Laramie Project' postponed 'indefinitely'
There was shock among several students after learning their fall play would be postponed until next spring or possibly indefinitely.
“We’d brought it up in the meetings…there might be issues we never really expected it was going to be the school district,” said drama club president and Davis senior Kristie Prescott. Prescott and several drama club students decided to do the Laramie Project last month at the start of the school year. It’s a play about the aftermath of a young Laramie, Wyoming man brutally murdered by two men for being gay.
But soon after, controversy erupted in the high school’s community with students, their parents and even staff. “When I read the play I didn’t have a similar reaction,” said Lee Maras, principal of Davis High School. “But the ones I did talk to didn’t even want to read it, didn’t even want to look at it – just felt it was inappropriate for our school.”
…Now several students are upset, even setting up a myspace page urging for support to go through with the play. They wrote: “the school district cannot allow this play to be produced because it is ‘too controversial for a town this conservative.'”
But the play is the least of the problems emanating from A.C. Davis High School. The greatest threat to our values stands in the school’s courtyard. I’m referring to the statue of the Yakima County School District’s most infamous student, Justice William O. Douglas Jr. Its presence mocks every value in which we believe. To stand before it is to stand before some demonic apparition whose long-ago-uttered words continue to reverberate off the courtyard’s walls. Indeed, Douglas seems to speak through his bronzed likeness, reminding us:
…The statue represents a bygone era, a time when men like William O’ Douglas were cheered for such libertine ideas as the right the voice unpopular ideas and to be the person you are rather than who others compel you to be. As such, the statue must be brought down. It must be brought down in a very public way through a well-managed photo op involving flags, military vehicles, and cheering crowds of patriots.
Go read the rest.
Recently, in Des Moines, IA, parents railed on about a Laramie HS production because “it’s too vulgar for students.”
And, of course, we had our own incident here in Durham — though there was no local objection to the play’s staging at a HS — we had the Phelps machine turn out to protest the excellent production.