Prince Gomolvilas

The "Rent" Must Go On; But So Must the Lawsuit

Filed By Prince Gomolvilas | March 19, 2009 4:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Jonathan Larson, musical, Orange County, Rent

After rent.jpgcontroversy erupted last month when a high school principal cancelled a production of Rent, the School Edition, amid allegations of homophobia and discrimination (read the story here), she eventually reversed her decision, and the show will open on April 23. (The production will undoubtedly corrupt young minds, hearts, and souls because, you know, if straight kids are exposed to gay people enough, then they will turn into homosexuals. Then their parents will have to enroll them into ex-gay programs to beat the sin out of them, and that costs money. And in this economy, you really want to tighten the purse strings.)

But Principal Fal Asrani and Corona del Mar High School are not out of hot water quite yet. According to the OC Weekly, the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California is moving ahead with a lawsuit against the school district and certain Corona del Mar High officials, including Asrani.

An unidentified female student involved in the production of Rent was allegedly the target of rape and death threats by male students amid an atmosphere of homophobia on the campus that the district has done little to squelch, charges the ACLU....

The suit alleges that sexist and homophobic comments are common at the school, and that school officials have done little in response. As part of its proof of the latter is the brief cancellation of Rent and CdM security officers cracking down on students who wore rainbow-colored buttons in support of the production.

Sigh.


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High school doesn't have to be like this, and I'm so sorry for the kids who will grow up thinking that's the way it is. At my daughter's high school her freshman year, the Student Council president was an out gay boy, and the Cutest Couple in the yearbook was a FTM transgendered boy and his girlfriend.

Kids need light and air in which to grow up to be good people—gay or straight. It's too bad the OC school wants to put anyone who's different back in a dark, stifling closet.