I’ve been keeping you up to date on the NAACP-manufactured outrage over a high school production of Agatha Christie’s “10 Little Indians.” A tipster sends word this afternoon that the show will go on. Here’s the statement from the Lakota High School district. The students prevailed, but “diversity-mongering” continues…
This morning Superintendent Mike Taylor announced that the show will go on. Citing discussions in recent days that he said moved the issue away from students and diversity to claims of censorship, he said the Lakota East theater department will perform the play on December 13 and 14, with additional materials, conversations, or other activities to honor diversity in the community.
In a new wrinkle, the school district also learned that the school was actually using an out-of-print, older version of the play. While this did not affect the decision to hold the play, it does change the title to the correct “And Then There Were None.”
Taylor said that a group of students and community members would work together to determine what would be added before or after the performance to honor diversity.
A statement from Superintendent Mike Taylor:
Two weeks ago, we learned there was history around a previous title to the play “Ten Little Indians”.
Learning this history caused a negative impact on some members of our community, our staff, and our students. The original decision to cancel the play was made out of respect for these valuable members of our schools and community. We believed that performing the play could damage these important relationships.
We had hoped that this choice would become a springboard for a broader discussion of inclusion and tolerance. Unfortunately the community dialogue in recent days has become focused more on distracting issues like censorship and the NAACP’s role in our community. This has taken away from the direction we hoped for and our students have been caught in the middle.
Decisions that involve the emotions of people are challenging. Right now, we need to refocus on our students and return to our original goal. We need to move forward. I believe the best way forward is to allow the performance of the play to occur while using it as a learning vehicle.
We have asked for our community’s help to stage this play and, at the same time, provide that vehicle for discussion about what we as a community believe. We can make this a learning experience together.
In this process, we learned that our drama department inadvertently had the wrong version of the play. Since 2004, the Agatha Christie family has released the play for performance only under the title, “And Then There Were None.”
The play will be performed under the corrected title, “And Then There Were None.”
We apologize to the students and families who have been affected by events of recent weeks.
We’ve learned a great deal already—proof that everyone can and should continue to learn and grow.
We appreciate Gary Hines, the leader of our local NAACP bringing this to our attention.
We hope that all community members will support our drama students and come to learn more about themselves and their neighbors by attending the play performance.
We hope that you will understand our good intentions, and that we continue to believe strongly that as a community, we can still learn much about and celebrate our diversity.
The Lakota East students will perform “And Then There Were None” on December 13 and 14 at Lakota East High School.”
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