'The Laramie Project' High School Production Gets the Boot in Fullerton

Categories: Culture, Theater

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Tim Chesnut

Four years ago, Fred Phelps, the now banished (and the God-who-Hates-Fags-willing soon to be dead) founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, announced plans to boycott a Santa Ana staging of The Laramie Project, an oral history project turned play that documented the events surrounding the 1998 killing of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming and, most important, the repercussions in that university town two years later.

It's doubtful that Dr. George Giokaris, the superintendent of the Fullerton Union High School District, shares Phelps' views, but, apparently, he's got something against Troy High School producing the play, because he's put the kibosh on a production.

Earlier this year, The Laramie Projectwas proposed as the school's spring, open-audition play. It was soon nixed by Dr. Giokaris for "containing mature themes," according to a post on an on-line petition site, gsanetwork.org.

"Our school has put on plays containing mature themes before, with To Kill a Mockingbird (containing themes of rape, racism, and violence), The Cat and the Canary (in which a character was shown hanged and others shot on stage), and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (blunt depictions of abuse in mental institutions)," says the on-line post, which is not attributed. The Laramie Project is no worse ( and likely more appropriate) than many plays we have put on in the past. Our drama department has the right to put on this production, and does not deserve to be the victim of injustice."



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6 comments
Bhattacharya
Bhattacharya

I spoke on April 16, 2014 to Sheriff David S. O'Malley about Book of Matt and gave facts about Methew Wayne Shepard being a child molester and drug dealer. He predictably said Book of Matt should be called Book of Lies, that he did investigation & hung up on me without explaining why it should be called book of lies. He has no rebuttal. Chief O'Malley said he is offended by Stephen Jimenez's book but he's dishonest.


Sheriff David S. O’Malley, Cop Regina S. Fluty and Sgt. Rob J. DeBree’s all have been portrayed in Laramie Project and Sheriff O’Malley is a friend of Judy L. Shepard. But their job as cops after to they found M.W. Shepard’s comatose body was to solve M.W. Shepard’s murder and they quickly found and arrested the 2 who did this. After that their job was to help prosecutors prove the 2 men guilty of murder which they did. Since M.W. Shepard is dead, he can not be arrested and prosecuted for any crimes he committed before October 1998. I don’t believe the 2 cops investigated whether Methew W. Shepard was a drug dealer because there was no need to because he is dead and can’t be punished for it.


Sheriff David S. O’Malley, Regina S. Fluty and Sgt. Robert J. DeBree all know as cops or former cops that you don’t always know the secrets a person has in their life. All know that many to most criminals try to keep their crimes secret esp. from friends and family as they don’t want to be caught. Many times when it’s discovered a person is let’s say a child molester, it’s friends and family who get surprised because a child molester is unlikely to admit that they commit this crime to their friends and family. Sheriff David S. O’Malley and Sgt. Robert J. DeBree in their lives have arrested drug dealers and they know how it’s the family and friends who get surprised after they learned some1 they know is a drug dealer.

I don’t think Sheriff David S. O’Malley and Sgt. Robert J. DeBree are honest criticizing Stephen Jimenez as bias is meddling with facts especially again as Sheriff O’Malley is a friend of Judy Lynn Shepard. 


Sheriff David S. O’Malley and Sgt. Robert J. DeBree know that it’s unlikely Methew W. Shepard told his friends and family that he was a drug dealer, because both have seen many times as cops as how criminals usually keep their crimes a secret esp. from their friends and family. M.W. Shepard kept it a secret. Even if Methew W. Shepard did tell his friends and family that he sold drugs, don’t think his family will admit this ugly truth about him, as they had tried to hide the fact that Methew Wayne Shepard molested 8 year old boys and got counseling for it. Both Sheriff David S. O’Malley and Sgt. R.J. DeBree know as cops that they don’t always catch all the criminals. Stephen Jimenez to repeat interviewed over 100 witnesses and he did a 13 year investigation. He went into bars, interviewed drug dealers, junkies and they verified that both A.J. McKinney and M.W. Shepard knew eachother and that M.W. Shepard had a secret life as a drug dealer/courier.


Again, Sheriff O’Malley and Sgt. DeBree interest in October 1998 was to solve the homicide and to help prosecutor Mr. Rerucha prove the 2 men gulity of murder. I don’t think Sheriff David S. O’Malley, Sgt. Robert J. DeBree and any1 else in the Albany County Sheriff’s Dept. investigated M.W. Shepard’s background because there was no need to. Sheriff David S. O’Malley and Sgt. R.J. DeBree’s critique sounds like they are dishonest, delusional or both esp. again as Sheriff f O’Malley is a friend of Judy L. Shepard and Chief O’Malley, Reggie S. Fluty and Sgt. DeBree are portrayed in Laramie Project. JC Marsden (executive Director of Shepard Foundation) and Tiffany C. Hunt are portrayed in Laramie Project. Both JC Marsden & Big Island Chronicle Tiffany Camille Hunt sees nothing wrong with Methew W. Shepard selling drugs and molesting children so their view is rubbish. Big Island Chronicle Tiffany Camille Hunt abuses her 2 children so Big Island Chronicle Tiffany Camille Hunt thinks child abuse is OK.

Bhattacharya
Bhattacharya

I read Book of Matt by Stephen Jimenez about Methew Wayne Shepard. The book discloses ugly truths of who the victim was-most of it old news such as him being a junky (old news), but the new information is that the victim was a drug dealer. Stephen Jimenez who is homose interviewed over 100 witnesses and found ugly truths about the victim. While Stephen Jimenez has a pro-homose bias and tried to be sympathetic to the victim, he wrote ugly truths including in Shepard's family.


-Metthew W. Shepard was himself a victim of child molestation and when Metthew W. Shepard was 15 years old, he was arrested for molesting 2 neighborhood 8 year old boys-M.W. Shepard got counseling for it.


M.W. Shepard in August 1998 (2 months before his death) attempted indecent exposure on a Cody bartender and bartender defended himself by decking M.W. Shepard. The next day, M.W. Shepard falsely accused the bartender of homosexual gang rape. When medical tests disproved M.W. Shepard, the excuse Methew W. Shepard gave to cops was that he was drunk, had PTSD and could not remember. M.W. Shepard was also once banned from a bar after a drunk M.W. Shepard committed assault and battery on the bouncer by grabbing bouncer’s crotch against will. M.W. Shepard should have been arrested and convicted by jury for those 2 incidents.


-M.W. Shepard knew his killer A.J. McKinney and there are witnesses who saw both of them together numerous almost a year before he was killed. M.W. Shepard had a secret life as a drug courier/dealer. You don’t always know the secrets friends and family have. If a person is a drug dealer, then they are usually not going to tell their friends and family that they do this. But for me, him being killed and why he was killed is a minor topic. While homose groups complain about Stephen Jimenez saying the murder case is complicated and possibly not a hate crime, I think that is incidental-main reason homose groups are offended by Stephen Jimenez’s book is because he talked about the ugly truths about who M.W. Shepard was.


The weak criticism people make is that Stephen Jimenez interviewed drug dealers, junkies, and that he went into bars where drugs were sold, to learn about M.W. Shepard being a drug dealer. That is a weak criticism because that is who Stephen Jimenez would have to interview to learn this. M.W. Shepard being a junky is old news as he had told his friends such as Tina LaBrie about his drug problems and M.W. Shepard’s lover Tristan (Ted) Henson admits that M.W. Shepard used drugs and that he knew 1 of his killers. M.W. Shepard being a drug dealer was something he likely kept secret from his friends and family because honestly, if a person is selling drugs, they usually aren’t going to tell their friends and family that they commit this crime. Even if Metthew W. Shepard did tell his friends and family that he sold drugs, don’t think his family will admit this ugly truth about him, as they had tried to hide the fact that Methew Wayne Shepard molested 8 year old boys and got counseling for it. JC Marsden (executive Director of Shepard Foundation) and Tiffany C. Hunt are portrayed in Laramie Project. Both JC Marsden & Big Island Chronicle Tiffany Camille Hunt sees nothing wrong with Methew W. Shepard selling drugs and molesting children so their view is rubbish. Big Island Chronicle Tiffany Camille Hunt abuses her 2 children so Big Island Chronicle Tiffany Camille Hunt thinks child abuse is OK.

livelife7679
livelife7679

"says the on-line post, which is not attributed"


Joel Beers,

How can you not attribute quotes from the original petition?  GSA Network shows that it was written and posted by Kate Dolbear.  Seems like a bit of lazy journalism.


-Troy High Alum

Kelly Hughes Davis
Kelly Hughes Davis

Grow a pair, Dr. Giokaris. Lets the kids do something mature and thoughtful.

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