Last week, students at Hartford Public High School (in my home state of Connecticut) were ushered into the school auditorium to watch a musical called Zanna, Don't! What they saw onstage, among other things, was two guys kissing.
Zanna Don't is set in a reverse world, according to a description in the Hartford Courant, where straight people are outcasts and the most popular kid in school is a flamboyantly homosexual chess player. And, you guessed it, the musical wasn't intended as entertainment. It was another "anti-bullying" program that presumes that anyone who doesn't believe homosexuality is morally neutral must be a bully.
One of the school's principals, David Chambers, told the newspaper that many students had heard there might be same-sex affection portrayed in the play. Some reportedly asked to be excused, but their requests were denied. Chambers also says he considered sending a letter to parents giving them a chance to "opt out," but decided against it.
Adam Johnson, another of the school's principals, told the local CBS affiliate that the school knew in advance about the boy-to-boy kiss. "When one teacher asked if I wanted to remove it, I said absolutely not."
The Courant describes what happened when the actors kissed. "There were screams and loud voices. . . . Dozens of students, mostly male . . . hurried out of their rows and walked out. A few jumped over seats to leave."
Johnson reports a slew of phone calls from angry parents following the performance. He wasn't bothered, though. On the contrary, he considered the performance a success. "This is as important of a topic to discuss as anything in math, anything in social studies. I'm completely glad we did it."
Getting rid of bullies isn't the real point of productions like these, which happen in different forms and with different names in schools across the country. The real goal is to stamp out any objections-moral or religious-to practicing homosexuality. And if anyone wonders why public schools are failing, look no further than Johnson's statement that this play is as important as math and social studies.