By Christopher Mangum

Originally published on Advocate.com November 10 2009 2:25 PM ET

A Nevada judge ruled on Tuesday that a high school theater class should not be blocked from performing The Laramie Project and the musical Rent.

A
group known as Concerned Parents of Green Valley High in Henderson,
Nev., filed a lawsuit in October to halt the productions. The parents
objected to students playing characters dealing with gay issues and
drug use.

Clark County district court judge David Wall ruled that participation and attendance at the plays was voluntary and therefore permissible, reports the Associated Press.

Green Valley High School principal Jeff Horn stood by the school’s theatrical decisions during the lawsuit. Horn told Advocate.com in October that the school decided to stage Moisés Kaufman’s The Laramie Project, a play chronicling the 1998 slaying of gay college student Matthew Shepard and its aftermath, in conjunction with the 10th anniversary observance of the play’s premiere.

As for the musical, Horn reviewed Rent: School Edition, an edited version of the musical omitting coarse language and one sexually explicit song, and deemed it appropriate for students.

Performances of The Laramie Project begin this weekend, while Rent will be staged early next year.