Town Square

Spring Branch and “The Giant Peach”: The Reaction to the Cancelled Field Trip Over Cross-Gender Casting

Experts weigh in on this decision and how these decisions get made in today’s landscape.



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Town Square with Ernie Manouse airs at 3 p.m. CT. Tune in on 88.7FM, listen online or subscribe to the podcast. Join the discussion at 888-486-9677, or @townsquaretalk.

Last week, Spring Branch ISD cancelled a planned field trip for students to see a production of James and the Giant Peach presented by Main Street Theater, after parents raised concerns over actors playing cross-gender roles.

First, we speak with Shannon Emerick from Main Street Theater who responds to the concerns and shares insight on the misinformation aimed at the production.

We are then joined by Associate Professor Dr. David DeMatthews from the University of Texas at Austin College of Education, who discusses his thoughts on the Spring Branch decision and explains the challenges school boards face when having to make difficult decisions.

Also, Assistant Professor Dr. Allison Master from the University of Houston's College of Education shares her perspective as a parent and researcher that studies gender.

Plus, listeners call in to share their comments and questions on this topic.



Shannon Emerick

Dr. David DeMatthews

  • Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy in the College of Education, The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Allison Master

  • Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological, Health & Learning Sciences in the College of Education, The University of Houston

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