Ten Little Indians Reinstated
A high school production of Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians was originally censored by school administrators because of objections to racially sensitive language in its original 1939 U.K. edition title. The Board of Ed has since reversed that decision, reinstating the play under its revised title And Then There Were None and opening a community dialogue about diversity.
Below read the Superintendent Mike Taylor’s statement:
Two weeks ago, we learned there was history around a previous title to the play “Ten Little Indians”.
Learning this history caused a negative impact on some members of our community, our staff, and our students. The original decision to cancel the play was made out of respect for these valuable members of our schools and community. We believed that performing the play could damage these important relationships.
We had hoped that this choice would become a springboard for a broader discussion of inclusion and tolerance. Unfortunately the community dialogue in recent days has become focused more on distracting issues like censorship and the NAACP’s role in our community. This has taken away from the direction we hoped for and our students have been caught in the middle.
Decisions that involve the emotions of people are challenging. Right now, we need to refocus on our students and return to our original goal. We need to move forward. I believe the best way forward is to allow the performance of the play to occur while using it as a learning vehicle.
We have asked for our community’s help to stage this play and, at the same time, provide that vehicle for discussion about what we as a community believe. We can make this a learning experience together.
In this process, we learned that our drama department inadvertently had the wrong version of the play. Since 2004, the Agatha Christie family has released the play for performance only under the title, “And Then There Were None.”
The play will be performed under the corrected title, “And Then There Were None.”
We apologize to the students and families who have been affected by events of recent weeks.
We’ve learned a great deal already-proof that everyone can and should continue to learn and grow.
We appreciate Gary Hines, the leader of our local NAACP bringing this to our attention.
We hope that all community members will support our drama students and come to learn more about themselves and their neighbors by attending the play performance.
We hope that you will understand our good intentions, and that we continue to believe strongly that as a community, we can still learn much about and celebrate our diversity.
The Lakota East students will perform “And Then There Were None” on December 13 and 14 at Lakota East High School.”