Minden play faces legal setback

Local News

Controversy arises over a Christmas play at Minden High School that featured a religious moment.

Due to some of the play’s content, the Webster Parish Superintendent had to prevent students from attending because of legal reasons.

The Junior Service League said they’ve been putting on Christmas plays for years, but this year during one of their performances, information got back to the superintendent which led to the school having to keep students from attending. The writer and director said it’s called “How the Toys Saved Christmas” and featured aspects from “Toy Story.” It included scenes at the end with Mary and Jesus to show the true meaning of Christmas.

“He told us if we couldn’t change our play, the public school kids that were scheduled for today could not attend so he pulled the plug on the kids coming today,” said Jennifer Powell, director Minden Junior Service League play.

The Superintendent told them while they appreciate the league’s efforts the district is under a federal court order to not promote religious activity during school functions. So the school district made it a “community event” instead where parents could pull their students out of class. It was a packed-house for Friday’s performance. 

“It was a blessing. It was absolutely amazing to see the community come together and the support the play that stands for Jesus and Christmas and this time of the year,” said Ashley Strickland, parent.

“I’m glad we were able to come together as a community and teach our kids the right reason for the season and not be scared of it,” said Charity Simpson, parent.

Powell said they’ve been working on it for months and were happy to get the support.

“I was humbled. I didn’t expect to be what it is today,” Powell said.

Powell said she hopes in the future the school district can issue permission slips for students to attend. 

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