Sherman ISD drops gender rule that caused students to lose roles in musical
SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - Sherman ISD announced it is retracting its new gender rule, announced last week, that only allowed theater students to play roles that are the same gender as their birth gender.
This caused a transgender male, Max Hightower, and around 20 other students to lose their
roles in the school’s upcoming musical, ‘Oklahoma!’.
The district released a new statement on Friday, explaining the ‘Oklahoma!’ production that was scheduled for December 8, 2023, but has been delayed, and was intended for an older audience.
The statement claims the district will now utilize a different version of the musical that is more suited for the high school stage.
In a previous statement, the district said the production needed to be reviewed because it was filled with sexual content and profanity.
The first statement also mentioned the new gender rule that would be put in place for this production in particular. However, it stated it may not be used for future shows.
In Friday’s statement, the district claimed that it will no longer be enforcing this rule for casting the new production because it is more age-appropriate.
The district added a more formal review process for theatrical productions and scripts needs to be implemented moving forward. Sherman ISD only apologized for not having a stricter process prior.
The statement does not mention if the new production will be re-casted or if the students who were removed from their roles will be placed back in them.
The new musical will be scheduled after January 15, 2024.
A Sherman ISD Board of Trustees meeting will be held on Monday at 5:00 p.m. at the SISD Service Center located at 2701 N. Loy Lake Rd, Sherman, TX 75090. A livestream will also be on the district’s YouTube Channel. www.youtube.com/@shermanisd/streams.
If an individual wishes to make a public comment, cards are available on the SISD website www.shermanisd.net/board or handcopies can be found at the service center.
All cards must be submitted before 5:00 p.m.
The full statement can be read here:
Sherman ISD first wants our community to understand that there are often multiple versions of theater productions. The version of the musical production originally scheduled for December 8, 2023, at Sherman High School is intended for an older audience, and Sherman ISD strives to produce a musical suitable for all ages.
After further review of the options available, the District plans to utilize a different version of the production. Our goal is to have a musical that showcases each student’s talents while also being age appropriate, with no concerns over content, stage production/props, and casting.
By utilizing a new version that’s age appropriate, sex will not be considered when casting the new production. Students will be able to play any part, regardless of whether the sex of the character aligns with the sex of the student assigned at birth.
Sherman ISD values the diversity of our students and staff and knows this has been an especially difficult time for many of our students. The circumstances revealed the need to implement a more formal review process for theatrical productions and scripts. Moving forward, the District will have a tighter review and approval process, and we apologize that this was not already in place.
We want to thank our community for the care and patience they have shown as we have navigated these difficult circumstances. The new production of the musical will be scheduled after January 15, 2024.
The Sherman ISD Board of Trustees will be holding its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, November, 13, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. Should an individual wish to speak at public comment they must follow the procedures for doing so. Public comment cards are available on the District website at www.shermanisd.net/board. Additionally, hardcopies may be obtained at the SISD Service Center located at 2701 N. Loy Lake Rd, Sherman, TX 75090. Completed cards must be submitted before the start of the meeting at 5:00 p.m. in order for an individual to address the Board. The meeting will be livestreamed on the District’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/@shermanisd/streams.
Copyright 2023 KXII. All rights reserved.