Great week for high school theatre!
RENT and the Laramie project are two of the most challenged plays in high schools around the country, but both shows will go on thanks to the Green Valley High School administration and Clark County’s District Court in Henderson, NV despite parents who objected to the plays’ “mature content”.
In an attempt to stop the plays from being performed, parents filed a suit for a preliminary injunction. However, the court sided with the Clark County School District, who claimed the parents’ lawyer failed to prove that it would cause ‘irreparable harm‘ to the plaintiffs.
It’s a shame many parents fail to recognize the intellectual capacities of students, by labeling RENT and The Laramie Project too “mature”. According to Sarah Balogh, a 17-year performing in this school’s production of RENT, these plays are “all about compassion and tolerance” and the victory is a start towards upholding those principles.
We applaud the school for standing up to the parents’ threats. School boards and libraries have often given into the pressure of a few, allowing those viewpoints to impose on another’s right to perform or read material they choose. Just as Justice Jackson observed half a century ago that the attempt to “eliminate everything that is objectionable…will leave public education in shreds,” the current case should make it clear that “students are better served by exposure to ‘controversial’ material than by misguided – and unrealistic – attempts to shield them from it.”