Controversy surrounds ‘insensitive' school play

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CALIFORNIA, Pa. - The California Area School District is considering making changes to or canceling its school play after several parents complained that it was insensitive.

The drama club has been preparing to perform the musical "Zombie Prom," which includes a teenage suicide.

The concerned parents said they think the play is insensitive because a 14-year-old student from the school died by suicide in April 2011.

According to parent Michelle Magruda, the community is still healing from the tragedy and hopes the school district will not move forward with the play.

"She really was very outgoing. She just sadly made a mistake. We saw no signs or anything," Macosta's mother, Lara Macosta, said.

After Felicity Macosta took her own life, the school started a policy about not glorifying suicide -- no yellow ribbons for the volleyball team, no Rest In Peace posters and no memorial scholarships. Parents think this policy would apply to the play.

"Some of her friends made bracelets for her, and they weren't permitted to have them in the school. It just had her initials, but in their opinion, in promoted suicide," Macosta said.

Macosta said she was appalled when she found out about the play.

"If I can't mention her name or give a scholarship, I was just amazed that they would do a play that had that as the main situation," Macosta said.

Superintendent Brian Jackson told Channel 11 News that they are looking at the play and may change some of the insensitive lines. He said they're also considering picking a different musical or canceling it altogether.

"We are trying to resolve the issues of sensitivity for all parties involved," Jackson said.

According to Jackson, the play was chosen for several reasons, none of which pertain to Macosta's suicide.

Macosta said her daughter loved her teachers and friends at school, and they want the same respect for her.

"I want the school to have their play, just not one that pertains to such a tragedy," Macosta said.