MAIDEN, N.C. - A Catawba County school's decision to not allow students to perform a popular school play has been met with controversy.
Students at Maiden High School claimed they had already begun rehearsing for the play “Almost, Maine” when the principal decided to cancel the performance.
“Almost, Maine” is a romantic comedy that depicts multiple love stories, including one shared between two men.
Students told Channel 9 some parents and area churches complained to the school about the play involving a same-sex couple.
“If that’s the case it doesn’t surprise me,” said Savannah Harvell, who graduated from Maiden High School in 2009. “There are still people here who don’t want to move forward with the times. It’s not surprising if that’s what is going on with that production.”
“I would want to watch the play first and then decide about it being performed in school,” said Doug Propst, who lives in Maiden and has children who graduated from the school. “I do believe marriage should be between a man and a woman.”
Channel 9 reached out to the school and was told the play had been canceled.
The school’s principal, Rob Bliss, later released a statement that read:
“Our faculty and staff are still in review of potential performances to be conducted by our students this fall. At this time, no final decision has been made regarding whether and what drama performances are to be presented this fall. In regards to the request for students to perform the play "Almost Maine," careful review and consideration was given to the contents of this play. The play contained sexually-explicit overtones and multiple sexual innuendos that are not aligned with our mission and educational objectives.
"As principal of Maiden High School, I have an obligation to ensure that all material, including drama performances is appropriate and educationally sound for students of all ages.”
Students have started an online petition in hopes the school's leaders will change their minds and let the show go on. It reached 90 signatures as of Tuesday night.