Local News

Parents Upset Over East Wake H.S. Racy Performance Of 'Chicago'

Posted May 18, 2005

— School policies often do not allow excessively short or tight outfits or behavior of a sexual nature. However, a school show after-hours can be considered a different matter altogether, which is why a performance at East Wake High nearly two weeks ago has raised some concerns.

Seductive poses, lacy lingerie and tight outfits were not something Larry and Mary Ellen Campbell expected to find at a high school variety show. They were in the audience and captured the show on home video.

"I think it went way over the line," Mary Ellen Campbell said.

"I'm disappointed in the fact that they allowed that," Larry Campbell said.

The piece comes from the Broadway hit and PG-13 movie "Chicago," that tells the story of a woman who shoots her husband. The Campbells feel the show was not appropriate for their 6-year-old in the audience or the young women who performed it on stage.

"To me, that's something you would see that people would pay to go see and these girls, most of them, are under 18 years old," Mary Ellen Campbell said.

Despite the clear violation of the school dress code, school principal Herman Norman said the costumes were part of the performance.

"I think they were trying to have a realistic interpretation of that particular scene from 'Chicago,'" he said.

Norman said there are tough calls to make when it comes to school dress codes. For instance, a cheerleading outfit or wrestling singlet do not meet the dress code either.

"There are some necessary times that you must use artistic leeway," he said. "I don't think this is anything you wouldn't see at 8 o'clock on any TV station across the land."

For the Campbells, it is not artistic leeway.

"To me, it all relates to sex," said Mary Ellen Campbell.

"I believe it sent very mixed messages to our children," said Larry Campbell.

The Campbells were in the audience because their daughter performed a different piece later in the variety show. They contacted the assistant superintendent for the region who is looking into the matter. At this time, the school said the Campbells are the only ones to raise any concerns.

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