Saturday, October 06, 2007

"Laramie Project" Teaches Foul Language

Here's the foul language students at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School are studying in "The Laramie Project." The drama participants especially are living these lines over and over, and are instructed this is "good literature" and a "mirror" of their own community. The fallout will affect every kid in the school -- and every home in the community.

Some examples of foul language in "The Laramie Project":
“shit outta luck” -- “Matt was a blunt little shit” -- “I always say, don’t fuck with a Wyoming queer, cause they will kick you in your fucking ass.” – “a freakin’ nightmare”-- “I was just bullshittin around with my shit” -- “I was in deep-ass sand” – “they better watch their fuckin ass” -- “ask him if he’d ever do anymore tweak” -- “I don’t know if Aaron was fucked up or whether he was coming down [off drugs] or what, but Matthew had money. Shit, he had better clothes than I did. Matthew was a little rich bitch … There was times when I was all messed up on meth… ” -- “pissed him off” -- “good to be with people who felt like shit” -- “why’d you fuck up like that” – “he tried to grab my dick” – “Up there in the max ward … when they found out Aaron was coming to prison, they were auctioning those boys off; ‘I want him. I’ll put aside five, six, seven cartons of cigarettes.’ …” -- “big-ass band of angels” [protester] with “big-ass wings” – “we don’t say a fuckin’ word” -- Police officer who “went out and got shit-faced” [drunk] -- etc.

The Acton-Boxborough Regional High School student handbook (p. 19) has a rule outlawing obscene language:

Abusive or Obscene Language
Students are not to use obscene or abusive language or gestures. Such behaviors will result in referral to the Assistant Principal.

Though "obscene language" goes conveniently undefined. So ... ANYTHING GOES. Certainly, if the "obscene language" is part of an assigned reading, or school play, it must be OK? After all, how else could the school be preparing its students according to its ...
"unity of purpose: to educate young people for life in a global society. It is important to create a learning environment at Acton-Boxborough where students can grow as individuals, learn how to think for themselves, learn when to talk and when to listen, see another person's side of things, and be part of a community." (p. 13)

But wait... If students are to "see another person's side of things," why did the school staff instruct the students (and parents) to ignore the forum on October 3? Why are students not instructed to weigh both sides of (by their own admission) a controversial play?

We read in Bay Windows that 475 local parents signed a petition giving their full support to "The Laramie Project" production (though they did not release their names). Shame on them. Do these parents have no problem with their children speaking like this in their homes? And the foul language in the play is the least example of its harmful impact. The play teaches that Laramie is just like Acton: Bad language, and hateful people hiding in the shadows waiting for their chance to lash out -- even to murder -- motivated by "hate".