A musical program for Fort Lincoln Elementary School pupils that was to be performed yesterday by D.C. school board candidate Dennis Sobin was canceled by school system officials because the program "might not be suitable for school children."
Sobin, who publishes a singles-oriented tabloid called "Met Forum," had planned a program he called "The Devil's Music" that he said would deal with "real life situations," including references to "sex, venereal disease and drug use."
"It was actually going to be a blues and ragtime show," said Sobin. "Blues was originally called 'The Devil's Music' . . . . Some of it is provocative, but it deals with real life situations. That's why it was called the Devil's Music."
Sobin, who is running for an at-large seat on the school board, said he was called by school officials and asked to perform "nothing negative about self-destruction, drugs or sex." Sobin said he agreed, but then said he received another call and was told his show had been canceled.
"The program has been canceled and that is about all we can say about it," said Joan Hillsman, assistant supervising director of music for the D.C. schools.
School spokeswoman Janis Cromer said that officials at the system's buildings and grounds department canceled the show based on a regulation that takes into consideration "whether other justifiable grounds exist relative to prior activities of the user or the nature of the requested use" of school property.
"They determined that this activity might not be suitable for school children," said Cromer.
"I can't believe this," Sobin said. He said he filed suit against the school board in small claims court yesterday for $600, claiming "breach of contract, negligence and incompetence."
Sobin already has a lawsuit pending against the D.C. Convention Center because officials of the center denied his request to have a campaign fund-raiser there in August.
Sobin said the show was to have been called the "Washington Fantasy Treasure Show" where children could have played video games and adults could have bought "anything you could purchase at the adult-oriented stores on 14th Street."
Sobin said the Convention Center canceled his event, but George Demerest, general manager of the center, said Sobin had never received authority to put on his show.
"We don't want to be censors, but there is a certain public trust we have to uphold," said Demerest.