NACS Superintendent addresses cancellation of school play

Published: Feb. 27, 2023 at 11:14 PM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - Monday night, parents and students gave the Northwest Allen County Schools (NACS) school board an earful about the cancellation of their high school play.

BACKGROUND: Play at Carroll High School featuring same-sex relationships canceled, angers students and activists

Some of those parents and community members applauded the school’s choice to cancel the play, saying the play would have forced the idea of same sex relationships onto students.

Others spoke out against the cancellation of the play, saying not everyone will be represented moving forward.

“To hear that that was canceled that Friday morning when the cast list was supposed to be posted that night or Monday morning was really disheartening,” Marissa Carroll said.

Disheartened is how some Carroll students, like Marissa Carroll, feel about their play being canceled by administration. The play, “Marian: The True Tale of Robin Hood”, features same sex relationships and non-binary characters.

According to NACS Superintendent Wayne Barker, the play was canceled by the school due to divisive issues it created among students.

“I know the intentions of our high school administration, and they were good,” Barker said. “They were about concern for kids, and I can support that decision.”

Barker says he’s unaware of any threats the school may have received about the play. He adds he isn’t sure if a new play will be decided on going forward.

“We need to find content that all students are comfortable in participating in,” Barker said.

Some students who planned on participating in the play are frustrated about its cancellation. They feel their opinions were ignored by the administration.

“We’re supposed to be a community,” Carroll said. “That’s NACS entire thing, is that we’re a community that helps people and makes everybody feel that we have a safe space and that was kind of disregarded.”

21Alive asked a group of people who spoke in favor of the play’s cancellation for comment at Monday’s meeting. They all declined to speak to the media.