June 1, 2005
By Mary Simpson
To quote John Stossell, “Give me a break.” The Loudoun County School Board’s desire to censor plays performed in the schools is hypocrisy at its finest. The play performed at Stone Bridge, and not to large crowds, has been vilified for having homosexual content. Many of the individuals who are making the loudest noise didn’t even see it. Welcome to the 21st century, Loudoun County. Homosexuality is here and it isn’t going anywhere. Homosexuality is as old as civilization, in case you haven’t noticed. Art is about pushing the envelope and if the play gets people talking then it has achieved its purpose. Parents were presented with a golden opportunity to preach tolerance or intolerance to their children about this topic. Obviously intolerance is the flavor of the month. Why are people so threatened by this topic? I know quite a few gay people and I can assure you their mission in life is not to convert you or your children into becoming homosexuals.
The hypocrisy of the board is clearly evident in Mr. Guerin’s desire to prohibit any play that “contains sexual themes, promote sexuality or depict sexual acts.” He obviously doesn’t have any children attending high school in Loudoun County.
Let’s review some of the content of the current curriculum in Loudoun County High Schools. The plays “Romeo and Juliet” and “The Twelfth Night” are read in English class. These works by Shakespeare have sexual themes that were also evident the in film versions of “Romeo and Juliet” shown in class (including the DiCaprio version). One English class has read a book where women are kept by society for the sole purpose of procreating with men they are not married to. The students have also watched the Russell Crowe movie “Gladiator,” where the teachers “fast forward through” the sex parts. And let’s not forget Loudoun County’s FLE (Family Life Education) where teenagers are shown thermal scans of male organs to show what an erection looks like, movies of how STDs are transmitted from the viewpoint of inside a female’s body and we could go on and on. The school board’s position is that you can “opt out” your child from FLE if you object to the content, well you can opt out your child from seeing the play by not attending. Unfortunately, you can’t opt your child out of English class now can you? The people of Loudoun County can choose to attend a play or not, if they object to the content and that is the way it should remain. Either clean up the entire school system to remove anything with sexual themes, that depicts sexual acts or promotes sexuality or stop with your hypocrisy. Give me a break!