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Wasilla principal reverses ban on 'Bohemian Rhapsody' performance

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  • Updated: May 31, 2016
  • Published May 12, 2011

The Wasilla High School's symphonic jazz choir practiced the hugely popular 1975 Queen song "Bohemian Rhapsody" all school year and had planned to perform it at the school's commencement ceremony tonight. Last week, choir members were told they couldn't perform it; at least one parent had reportedly complained to the principal about the sexual orientation of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, who wrote the song, reports The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman. After students objected loudly and threatened to call the American Civil Liberties Union, principal Dwight Probasco relented and the song will be performed, though without lyrics about a killing.

"The whole thing was just ridiculous," senior Rachel Clark said Monday. "They'd played the song on the school intercom and we played it at prom. It's a great song and the choir was really excited to be singing it. And the senior class felt like it defined them."

Choir member Casey Hight, a junior, was angry enough to contact a gay and lesbian support organization in Anchorage for help. They told her to contact an attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union.

"I felt like the school was discriminating for sexual orientation and I felt it was wrong," Hight said Monday. "It's so stupid because there's nothing sexual in the song. There aren't even any cuss words."

Principal Probasco wouldn't talk to The Frontiersman about the affair. Read more at The Frontiersman.