April 13, 2005
By David Bradley
The Loudoun County School Board continues to ponder policies that could restrict the content of plays performed in public schools.
During a meeting of the School Board’s Legislative Policy Committee last week, members debated a draft policy which would require that the “thematic content” of school plays “be appropriate to the emotional maturity of the target audience.”
The committee did not vote on the draft or another that would bar plays with sexual themes.
The issue may be revisited when the full School Board meets in Leesburg this week.
The issue was taken up in response to “Offsides” a student-produced play performed two months ago at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn. During the play a kiss was implied between two male characters. The play was criticized by Delegate Dick Black (R-32nd) and some Loudoun County Supervisors.
This week Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) praised a proposed policy barring sexual situations and acts or promoting sexuality. He said the School Board should enact policies to prevent “the continued promotion of bizarre and obscene immoral practices that offend all traditional pro-family religions in America and the world.”
David Weintraub, President of a gay and lesbian advocacy group, Equality Loudoun, said some members of the School Board are overstepping their jurisdiction when they try to censor student expression.
“These members seem to believe that it’s their job to prohibit the expression of a viewpoint they don’t agree with – that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people are as they were created to be, and are entitled to equality and respect – and are determined to find a way to do it even if it violates the law,” Weintraub said.