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“RENT” Cancellation Sparks Lawsuit At High School

Corona del Mar High School was recently put in the national spotlight when the school’s cancellation of the musical “Rent” was reversed. Things have gotten a bit worse as the Newport Mesa Unified School District is now facing a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union. The lawsuit states that the school allowed a “sexist and homophobic environment” for students on campus.

RENT%20musical%202.jpgCorona del Mar High School administrators are at the center of the lawsuit. The lawsuit specifically states that the atmosphere created at the school was hostile to “female, lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender students in general, and has led to despicable threats of violence against one student in particular.”

The school district does not believe all claims in the lawsuit and is said to be working on resolving the issues involved.

The lawsuit in part stems from the threats of violence found in a video posted online in which three students from the school were allegedly making slurs towards gays. Another student was allegedly threatened, and left the campus out of fear.

The problems originated when the school pulled an edited version of the rock opera “Rent” from the musical department. The musical portrays gay characters that battle AIDS and do drugs. Originally, the musical was pulled by the principal until the script could be reviewed, after which it was put back on.

The lawsuit states that those students were not punished harshly enough for their actions and therefore the school is being discriminatory. It claims that when students use anti gay slurs in front of teachers, students go unpunished. The ACLU is seeking damages on the behalf of the students, training for students and the schoolteachers and administrators and a statement stating that the school violated the civil rights laws in place.