All Shook Up… Censorship Style

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<begin mostly non-coherent rant>

I have always wanted my boys’ high school to gain national and even world notoriety.  But I was hoping it was for something epic… Like highest test scores in the nation, or even some sort of sports stuffs… or HOPEFULLY for the art teacher rescuing a herd of wild artic penguins from a pack of rabid hyenas… But instead, Herriman High School recently became the subject of news outlets for censorship… Of the high school musical (Zac Efron does NOT approve) All Shook Up.  And well… that has me ALL SHOOK UP. (Because of my current state of shook uppedness by ramblings will be even less coherent than usual.)

all shook up

Right before Christmas ONE “concerned community member” took a complaint to the Jordan School District about the musical that my son had auditioned for, got a part in, and had been practicing for. And the play was CANCELLED by the school district because it could not be changed due to copyright issues.  The musical is a twist on Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Knight” set to the songs of Elvis Presley.  You are pretty offended so far… RIGHT?  The main complaints were that the play contained offensive material, did not represent the morals and values of our community, and promoted homosexuality.  I Googled it and… I am not sure how one actually “promotes” homosexuality.  After a little research I found there were no picket signs or posters in the musical saying “Gay is the Way” or “Hate the Straight”.  So, as you can see I was a bit confused.  But, instead of the blatant promotion I expected… I found the complaint was over a major plot point in the play/musical.  A young woman dresses poses as a boy to evade detection and eventually finds herself falling in love with boy.  And the ENTIRE time you (the audience) knows she is a female. And she also reveals herself as a woman to everyone before admitting her love. HORRIFYING… right?  I almost had to scrub my fingertips just for typing such filth (I am obviously taking a LOT of sarcastic liberties).

Thankfully (okay… only because the play is back on but I am NOT thankful) the school received permission to revise some key points in the musical and it was un-cancelled just as quickly as it was cancelled.  All is right in the world… NOT SO FAST.  All is NOT right.  My parental rights have been violated.   I am OFFENDED. And I am angry… Bullet point angry.

  • I am capable of deciding what play or musical is appropriate for my child to view or participate in.
  • I consider it to be offensive to assume that anyone’s “morals and values” are the only ones that matter.  ( Isn’t being a judgmental, condemning, a-hole more than a little morally questionable?)
  • As a parent, I feel awful that my son had to be subjected to something truly offensive… Not the promotion of homosexuality… but you know… the CRAZY censorship (does anyone else feel like they are going to start burning Mark Twain books in the courtyard).
  • Seriously… if someone doesn’t want to see or their children to see or participate in a musical… MORE POWER TO YOU!  But, why does that need to effect my and my childrens’ life?
  • Believe or not… You can still have morals and values even if they are different from someone else’s.  My moral compass is set to “be an awesome human”… And as long as you don’t set your’s to “kill everyone”… have at it.

I have more bullet points but they just make me seem more crazy than I actually am.  In the end… maybe I should thank the morality police.  Because it gave us the chance to have a great and open dialogue about right, wrong, censorship, tolerance, and morals and values with our kids.  So while I am still “all shook up” and will never truly understand this one person’s complaints.  I support their right to have them.  And their rights to decide what their family values are.  I just want them to keep them out of my kids’ classroom, high school musical, and most of all… my household.

<end only partially coherent rant>

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  1. The fact that someone even said anything in the first place is annoyingly homophobic…but the fact that someone in authority even considered cancelling it is just disgusting! When are people – namely parents and authority figures – going to start teaching children VALUES rather than demonstrating their own close-minded beliefs? At least you have the sense to recognize this as censorship and you’re teaching your kids the right values!

  2. When are parents going to take responsibility for their children instead of thinking the school should parent?

  3. I remember hearing about this in the news and thinking how rediculous it was!! I would have been upset about the one person canceling the show as well!!! So silly!

  4. You go girl!

  5. I heard something about this here and there but didn’t know the details. All I can say is, wow. Absolutely ridiculous. I think you have every right to be angry about how it all went down and your angry bullet points are right on. I’m fairly well versed in musical theatre and can tell you right now, All Shook Up is the least of these people’s worries.

  6. I want to say something witty and snarky, but I can’t think of anything. This just makes me sad. I’m glad they are going ahead and allowing the play to be done, but I’m just sad at the damage that has been done.

  7. This makes me sad, but also angry. Why does one loud person get their way over everyone else, it is annoying!!

  8. I just want to say a big AMEN to what Emily said.

    This is just ri-DONK-ulous that it was even an issue.

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