Local high school musical abruptly halted, deemed ‘vulgar’


Please note several things in play to hide the bigotry.   Instead of family values or family friendly talk is instead the songs have vulgarity.  Like kids don’t hear or know vulgar talk already?   Tell me a middle schooler who doesn’t know all the swear words and I will show you a kid that is homeschooled, has no internet / smart phone, and is parented by mute parents.   Parents swear, there are swears on TV, and there are swears between kids at school, and it is everywhere on the internet.   But the songs were already changed to be more acceptable.   What stopped the play was that two of the parents were gay.   They couldn’t admit gay people exist, that must be hidden from kids and not acknowledged in society.  That is what this is about, removing any mention of gay people.   As I recently reported and have learned this is being driven hard by several hard right religious think tanks trying hard to force red states to adopt a total ban on LGBTQ+ representation in schools via books, rainbow stickers, and any media that even hints at LGBTQ+.   It is a desperate well funded attempt to return a more religious morality view before advances in society and the understandings that people are born different from what was know or understood in 1950s.   They want to remove the advancements in medical knowledge.   Think of everything that has changed since 1950 and these well funded groups want to reverse all of that.   Hugs

After months of planning, a local school district abruptly canceled its musical, claiming it was “vulgar.”

In a statement, the Cardinal Local Schools superintendent Jack Cunningham said, “The Cardinal Local School District has decided that its spring musical production will not be ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.’ Its dialogue and song lyrics contain vulgarity and are therefore not suitable for our pre-teen and teenage students in an educational setting.”

Two of the characters in the musical are gay male parents. The district states anyone suggesting discrimination is “mistaken.”

“When we found out it was canceled, everybody was just heartbroken. Honestly, it was terrible. Everyone was just crying,” said Riley Matchinga a senior who was playing a lead role in the musical.

Mandi Matchinga, Riley’s mother and assistant director for the musical, said she was shocked to learn production was halted given it was greenlit early in the school year by the district.

The superintendent stated the musical was not approved by the school board or district administration. 

The school board made the decision to cancel the musical. A request for comment was not returned.

A meeting was held earlier this month with the administration where Matchinga said three concerns were brought up by the superintendent, who informed the production of some complaints. 

“There were concerns about the language in one of the songs,” said Matchinga. “There was a concern about Jesus appearing in the show and there was a complaint about the fact that two of the parents were gay.”

The district went on to state it wants “student productions to be something that community members of all ages may enjoy without adult supervision.”

Matchinga said $1,700 was spent on the production. She said it’s too late in the school year to gain licensing required to put on another musical because that would involve 10 to 17 weeks of rehearsing.

Her daughter is planning to study musical theater in college and said the purpose of theater is not only to entertain, but to inform. 

“Theater is about making you think about things and making you question things and thinking critically,” she said.

Matchinga plans to address the issue at the upcoming school board meeting.

“Now they’re using the word vulgar instead of family-friendly,” said Matchinga. “What is vulgar? What exactly are the issues you have with this show and can we sit and come to some sort of compromise and agreement?”

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