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Ottumwa High School Won't Show "The Laramie Project"

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OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) - Ottumwa High School administrators have halted plans for a student production of "The Laramie Project," but the show will go on at a local performing arts center.

The Des Moines Register reports that principal Mark Hanson decided to cancel the performance. Hanson says he agrees with the play's message, but would rather see more family-friendly productions on the high school stage.

Ottumwa high school drama teacher Natalie Saunders is working with a local theater director to show the play at the Bridge View Center in October.

The play was inspired by the events that led to the 1998 murder of a 21-year-old gay man, Matthew Shepard, outside of Laramie, Wyo.

The debate has played out in schools across the country, including West Des Moines' Valley High School in 2006.