Sensible Policy on Plays

Loudoun Times-Mirror
June 8, 2005
By David Weintraub

The policy on theatrical presentations that the Legislative and Policy Committee has voted to recommend to the full School Board is a reasonable compromise that should satisfy those who are concerned about the potential for obscene content in school plays.

Curiously, some people seem to think that the policy’s phrase “taking into consideration the sensibilities of the community” refers only to them. The Loudoun community includes a great diversity of people. We all have sensibilities, and those who would like to silence the voices of our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered citizens are not entitled to special rights.

I think I speak for quite a few people when I say that my sensibilities are offended by the notion that my very existence should be regarded as “lewd” or “prurient” or “obscene” or “shameful,” all terms used by School Board members in their attempts to craft language that would prohibit the discussion or portrayal of gay people.

Aside from the fact that such viewpoint discrimination is unlawful, it is offensive and harmful to actual human beings, children in our school system who have heard their existence and experience described as an “inappropriate topic” that should be silenced. How is a gay student expected to feel about the view that he should be invisible? Is the child of gay parents expected to be ashamed of them, and believe that a positive portrayal of her family is part of some “agenda?”

Significantly, attempts to write this viewpoint into school policy failed to pass muster with School Board Counsel. What is left is a policy that most people should be able to support. The only ones who think “it doesn’t go far enough” are those who are simply unwilling to coexist with anyone who disagrees with them. They will never be satisfied.

David Weintraub
President, Equality Loudoun

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