A parent's reaction:
“THE LARAMIE PROJECT” Undermines Parental Rights, Leads Students to Radical Groups
By Amy Contrada
These are direct quotes from “The Laramie Project” – the fall play at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, set to run the first two weekends in November. The play’s director says it has literary merit “worth six months of production time.” Certainly, it will teach students it’s OK to talk like this.
The school recommends the play for audiences “age 13 and above,” but it’s actually unsuitable for any audience. The play’s foul language is just one problem. It is also horribly violent, promotes homosexuality as normal, and undermines many parents’ values and authority. It manipulates the audience’s emotions through the language, violence, and blatant misrepresentations of Christians.
“The Laramie Project” exploits the savage 1998 murder of homosexual college student Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming for radical political ends. A jumbled compilation of interviews with Laramie residents, it is sorely lacking as drama — but effective as propaganda. The play essentially blames the murder on those holding traditional values. (A report from ABC News “20/20” in 2004 showed the killers were actually drug-using thugs intent on robbery. But the audience never learns this.)
All students at the high school are exposed to the message of the play, not just those who are in the production. Even those who choose not to attend are receiving incessant messages about its content and merit through the school’s promotions and student newspaper. The school even handed out the script and led discussions of the play last spring (and possibly earlier), without some parents having a clue their children were being roped in.
The script, and accompanying handouts given to ABRHS drama students, make the play’s agenda crystal clear: 1) normalize homosexuality in the minds of children and the community; 2) lead children to homosexual advocacy groups (i.e. recruitment); and 3) promote “hate crimes” legislation (and local vigilante activities) to stomp out so-called “hatred.”
We hear graphic details of the terrible murder over and over: Matthew begged for his life as he lay tied to the fence posts, while the enraged murderer continued to pistol-whip him mercilessly about the head. Tears streamed through the caked blood on Matthew’s cheeks. He lingered for days in the hospital, as his distraught parents awaited his certain death.
In one handout, students learn what a scary place Focus on the Family is (Dr. James Dobson’s Christian, pro-family organization): One of the playwrights tells how fearful she was before, during, and after her visit there. In the play itself, the ranting Fred Phelps is dishonestly set up to represent the (false) “Christian message” that “God hates fags.”
The teacher’s guide from HBO makes the play’s goal clear: “Students may even come to view their most basic values — values that have been a part of their families and communities for generations — in a new light.”
The play makes the audience suspect, fear, and even hate traditional, conservative Christians in their community — since they carry the “seeds of hate” the drama director claims are present in Acton-Boxborough. The play, she has said, is a “mirror” of our community, and a similar murder could happen here! This is fear-mongering in its lowest form. (The reality is that no “hate crimes” have been recorded in our towns since the FBI started keeping track in 1995.)
Lavender wristbands (handed out to the ABRHS troupe) read “ERASE HATE” on one side, and MatthewShepard.org on the other. This site tells students wanting to “Make a Difference” to “Come Out.” The site’s new teen-friendly space, “Matthew’s Place,” even highlights “Coming out as Transgender.”
Through this site, “The Laramie Project” links students directly to radical homosexual organizations: (1) PFLAG, which held a conference (2006 Transcending Boundaries.org) with workshops on “transgender children,” “swinging” parties, sadomasochism, and polyamory (multiple sex partners). (2) A “Coming Out” page on the Human Rights Campaign web site (hrc.org/comingout). (3) GLSEN.org, which gave teens the pornographic Little Black Book (on fisting, “water sports”, rimming, Boston’s “gay” bars) at their 2005 Boston conference; taught teens fisting in 2000; and now also promotes transgenderism. (4) BAGLY.org (Boston Alliance of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Youth), which puts on the queer/transgender prom at Boston City Hall every May, and is led by a “male-to-female transsexual.”
Shockingly, A-B Superintendent Bill Ryan gave an interview to the radical homosexual paper Bay Windows, bragging about the “Laramie” production. He said he’s sure the play “will be well-received by the community,” and that the play is “really hopeful.” Is he aware that Bay Windows has run stories (just a typical sampling…) on the “Pope’s penis,” incestuous “gay” sex between brothers, lesbian anal sex, and has called a marriage amendment rally (hosted by the Family Research Council at a church in Boston) a “hatefest”? Mr. Ryan apparently believes that newspaper is worthy of his respect, and not bothered that children in his schools will now find their way to that publication more easily due to his interview.
The homosexual radicals and allies in our high school want to silence any principled and moral opposition to homosexuality. Forget about parents’ rights to control what their children are exposed to in school. And forget about students learning about the health risks of homosexual sex -- including shorter average life span, depression, suicide, promiscuity, high rates of STDs, drug and alcohol abuse, partner abuse, etc.
What good will come from this production? ABRHS Principal, Steve Donovan, was unable to answer that question in a meeting last summer.
This “R-rated” play is dishonest, vulgar, violent, politically loaded, anti-Christian, and divisive. It has no place in a taxpayer-funded school.
[NOTE: The Acton Beacon newspaper agreed to publish an edited version of this article which appeared in its October 25, 2007 edition.]
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