Oklahoma!But soon after, the school’s principal called Hightower’s father to inform him of a new district policy.“He said we’re instituting a new policy where only males can play males, and only females can play females,” Phillip Hightower told Dallas-Fort Worth NBC affiliate KXAS-TV.The elder Hightower was “devastated” by the decision, noting that Max has never been treated differently because of his gender identity — until now.Aside from being absurd — cross-gender casting has been a reality in the theater world dating back centuries — the school district’s purported policy will likely prove logistically difficult if it tries to avoid cross-gender casting, in part because there’s frequently a dearth of males in high school production casting pools.Illustrating that point, the sudden policy change also reportedly cost several other cast members their roles, according to the New York Post.Max Hightower’s adult sister, Gracie, recounted the events involving her brother, writing that some female students cast as “cowboys” were told they could not participate in the play due to the school district’s decision to intervene in casting.“Many opportunities were ripped away from kids not for bad grades, not for bad behavior, not for attendance, but for something that has absolutely nothing to do with the production whatsoever,” she wrote.A group of parents, including Phillip Hightower, plan to appeal the decision to the school board. “I’m not an activist.
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