It almost sounds like something out of the movie Footloose, the Kevin Bacon film (which I maintain has never been remade, no matter what Hollywood has to say on the topic) about a city boy arriving in a sleepy midwestern town where dancing is illegal and book burnings sound like family fun.
Parents of a Utah student are outraged over their child being exposed to “pornographic” material while at school.
No, some teacher didn’t fire up Pornhub on the school computer and get caught. It was something far more insidious. You see, a teacher shared the 1999 PBS stage production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic “Oklahoma!”
The play, first produced in 1943, hit the stage only a handful of years after “Gone with the Wind” upset audiences over uttering the word “damn” in 1939, so how bad could it be, right?
Well, it was bad enough that the student’s father, Jared Bolton, claimed his son was “physically upset by the situation” when he addressed the local school board over the issue.
His wife proclaimed, “This has been a painful process.”
In particular, there is a scene where supposedly nude photographs are pinned up inside a shack. While images appear to be blurred so nothing is visible, that’s apparently far too much for Bolton’s boy.
However, that’s not all the parents take issue with. “The first hour was filled with verbal pornography containing lines such as ‘a girl that is round on top and round on bottom, peeling off clothes as far as she could go,” he claimed, making reference to the song “Kansas City.”
In fairness, this isn’t all about boobies and sex. The school’s media policy that requires any films to be viewed by the teacher and approved by the principal was apparently not followed. This is an issue the school clearly needs to address. They also apparently failed to respond to the Boltons’ concerns promptly, which is also a problem.
But there also seems to be a fair bit of overprotective parent in this mess as well. Overprotective to the point of mimicking the parents in “Footloose” who wanted to fire a teacher for having students read Slaughterhouse Five.
The fact is, the Boltons are upset that their child was exposed to something they’d rather he not have been — which is a normal reaction from any parent — but does anyone really believe that he’s been completely sheltered from that his entire life? And that blurred images of breasts could make him sick?
I sure don’t.