Highschoolers horrified at gay male kiss in school play, while officials praise exposure
HARTFORD, October 18, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.coom) - Several students at a Hartford high school expressed horror and left the auditorium when two male members of a city-funded school play shared a passionate kiss onstage on Friday. School officials said they opted against informing parents about the event ahead of time, saying that the students needed exposure to homosexuality, and hailed the “chaotic” reaction as a victory for raising the gay issue.
The kiss occurred during Hartford Public High School’s production of “Zanna, Don’t!,” a play depicting a world in which homosexuality is normative and heterosexuals take up the role of “outcasts.”
The Hartford Courant reported that “screams and loud voices” and sounds of disgust came from the audience during the display of affection, while “dozens” of mostly male students left the auditorium. While some trickled back in, officials had to prevent many from leaving the school building.
School officials had told students that homosexual displays of affection would be featured in the play, and many asked to be excused. One school official cited by The Courant, nursing academy principal David Chambers, said that he had considered sending an opt-out letter to parents before changing his mind. The school reportedly received a number of phone calls from parents following the incident.
The play, available to students free of charge, was a joint effort between Connecticut gay youth group True Colors and a local youth leadership program, and was funded in part by the city of Hartford.
Chambers said that students needed to learn empathy towards homosexuals and exposure to things that would make them uncomfortable. “Our kids are not there yet,” he said. Chambers also suggested that the reaction of disgust was a good sign, indicating a release of students’ inner conflict about homosexuality.
“Even though it’s kind of chaotic, kind of wild and crazy, I see it as very successful,” he said, according to The Courant. “Our kids never deal with this, they keep it inside, and that’s that nervous energy. That’s why they walked out.”
Adam Johnson, principal of Hartford High’s Law and Government Academy, agreed. “This is as important of a topic to discuss as anything in math, anything in social studies,” Johnson said. “I’m completely glad that we did it.”
The Family Institute of Connecticut (FIC) condemned the scandal, and called for a protest of the school’s decision, calling it “an outrageous attack on parental rights.”
FIC notes that a bill introduced earlier this year by Republican Sen. Kevin Witkos, which would have mandated that parents be allowed to opt out their children from sexuality instruction in schools, was never given a public hearing. “We will fight for it again next year and every year until it is passed,” said the group.
Same-sex “marriage” was imposed on Connecticut by the state’s Supreme Court in 2008, three years after granting “all-but-marriage” civil unions for homosexual couples.
Hartford Public High School:
Hartford Public Schools
Dr. Christina Kishimoto, Superintendent of Schools