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Tipsheet

Parental Rights Group Files Complaint Over High School Theater Production Limited to ‘Students of Color’

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File

A parents’ rights organization filed a lawsuit with the U.S. Office for Civil Rights after a public high school in Massachusetts restricted auditions for a school play for students who identify as people of color.

Newton North High School’s theater program encourages students to audition for an upcoming production called “Lost and Found: Our Stories as People of Color,” which will take place in January. The show is restricted to only “people of color,” according to Parents Defending Education’s (PDE) website.

PDE noted that the play was created by school alumni “to provide a safe community space for students of color to express themselves through the performing arts,” according to the audition packet. 

“Lost and Found will be a reserved safe space for this exploration and for people of color to be vulnerable and support one another. One of the aspects that make Lost and Found special is that it centers on community building by having full-cast rehearsals once a week where we have organized discussions about race and identity in our lives,” the packet said. The theater program’s website also directs users to the Black Lives Matter website.

In the audition form, students are asked to provide a headshot image, share their preferred pronouns and share how they identify themselves “racially/ethnically.”

PDE filed a complaint with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights over the play, alleging that it is “in violation of both Title VI and of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” as well as the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment in the U.S. Constitution. 

“Congress passed the Civil Rights Act 58 years ago, yet we’re still separating children by race,” PDE President Nicki Neily told Townhall, adding that “the only difference is today, activists do it in the name of ‘progress.’ That’s insane.”

In August, Townhall reported how a woke elementary school teacher in Utah ended up under investigation about boasting about having a “non-white” classroom. The teacher was suspended. The school district ultimately allowed her to keep her job, according to Daily Mail.

“Separating children by race was wrong in the Jim Crow era, and it remains wrong today,” Neily added.

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