Sherman High musical drama to get outside review
SHERMAN, Texas (KTEN) — After protests this week, the Sherman Independent School District Board of Trustees conducted a special meeting on Friday afternoon.
They heard from 31 people regarding the high school's musical production of Oklahoma!, which had been suspended earlier this month after a decision by the district that the play "contained mature adult themes, profane language and sexual content."
A transgender student, Max Hightower, was also dropped from the cast; his father said he was told it was because Max was cast in a male role.
"He always wanted speaking lines; hadn't had any of those yet," the elder Hightower said. "He wanted like a solo, and I thought, 'This is great; it's his senior year.' I was just thrilled."
Trustees began discussions behind closed doors began around 12:40 p.m. Friday. Board members unanimously decided to hire an investigator to look into the decisions made within the Sherman High School theater program. Superintendent Dr. Tyson Bennett was also relieved of any supervision of fine arts education until further notice.
"I applaud the board for removing the superintendent from any interaction with the fine arts program," said Phillip Hightower Jr., Max's father. "I really wish they would have put [Bennett] on administrative leave pending the investigation, because he's not just dangerous to the theater program... he's dangerous to all children."
Chief Academic Officer Amy Pesina will now supervise the district's fine arts programs.
Earlier this week, the district announced that the high school's original production of Oklahoma! would be reinstated with its original cast.