WENY News - Ithaca Community Receives Backlash after Debate Cancels School P

Ithaca Community Receives Backlash after Debate Cancels School Production

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ITHACA, N.Y. (WENY) -- The Ithaca City School District is speaking out after the decision was made to cancel an upcoming Spring play. The move is now getting national attention, going far beyond the decision to pull the production.

The Ithaca Voice is reporting the debate started after Ithaca High School cancelled its spring production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. That decision allegedly came after a casting dispute spread from just the school into the community.

The story has since been picked up by the New York Times, which says students and parents have received significant backlash since the announcement was made--many have received death threats and been the subject of social media posts.

According to the Times, district officials received over 100 angry voice mails and 50 emails

The school district has issued two separate press releases in response.  

The first addressed the decision to cancel the production, saying the selection has quote "reaffirmed our wishes to have a more inclusive and culturally responsive learning community. In short, our efforts to eliminate institutional biases are ongoing."

The second, which was released this morning, read "we condemn the cruel and threatening attacks on our students, staff, families and communities. We support our students and their right to protest."

That statement went on to say the High School will produce a musical this spring.

We did reach out to both the district and school board, neither returned our calls.

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