Terror attack play scratched after victim families object

AP News
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Posted: Jul 28, 2016 9:09 PM

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California college has canceled plans to create a play about a hometown terrorist attack that killed 14 people after family members of some victims complained.

San Bernardino Valley College President Diana Z. Rodriguez released a letter Thursday apologizing "for any pain or hurt we may have caused."

"We would never seek to exacerbate the profound grief with which our community still lives," the letter said.

"SB Strong" was supposed to performed this fall. The play was envisioned as a community response to the Dec. 2 attack in this eastern Los Angeles suburb that killed 14 and wounded nearly two dozen people.

An ensemble that might include actors, singers, dancers and musicians would create the piece after interviewing community members, the San Bernardino Sun (http://bit.ly/2aNTlnC) reported.

Among those objecting was Mark Sandefur, the father of Daniel Kaufman. Kaufman ran a coffee shop at the social services center where Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, opened fire on a holiday gathering.

"I am aghast at the suggestion that you'd want to profit from Daniel's death," Sandefur wrote in an email to Valley College officials Thursday morning. "What incredibly bad taste you show. I can't imagine who thought this was a good idea."

Rodriguez said the faculty is considering a new theme for the school's fall production.

"If a project like this one is considered in the future, we will seek wider community input to ensure that we do not misrepresent or dishonor the lives of the innocent people who were injured or taken from us on Dec. 2," she wrote.

The name of the proposed play was drawn from a logo created by Juan Esteban Garcia-Ruiz, a San Bernardino graphic designer. It was used on T-shirts sold by a local minor league team, raising more than $45,000 for the San Bernardino United Relief Fund.

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Information from: The Sun, http://www.sbsun.com