The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

September 9, 2013

Supporters: Why ban play?

OTTUMWA — There were some tough questions for the Ottumwa school board at their meeting Monday. One that seemed to draw the biggest crowd: What's the thought process behind banning "The Laramie Project" play?

Most speakers about the play were disappointed in the district decision not to allow The Laramie Project at the Ottumwa High School

Superintendent Davis Eidahl had previously said while he had nothing against the play itself, he wanted the district to concentrate on the production of plays with a more family-friendly theme.

The play revolves around one town's reaction to the beating death of 21-year-old gay college student Matthew Shepard. Supporters say the play shows how being different can cause any of us to be hatefully targeted, and how everyday people react to tragedy when someone who is different is the victim. Detractors call it a play that supports acceptance of a gay person's inappropriate lifestyle, as well as a very adult-themed production not appropriate for high school kids.

After several supporters of the play spoke, a different type of supporter said he wanted to thank Davis Eidahl for his leadership.

Bryan Wyldes said some plays are not meant for kids. And not just young children, but high school students who will perform in the production. Parents and schools, he said, are tasked with presenting youngsters with age-appropriate material. He is glad that Eidahl's integrity means his tax dollars aren't going to support something morally inappropriate.

School board members, can't we discuss this, asked Dale Dommer.

Dommer is one of the people working to produce the play outside of the high school.

"I was hoping to get some clarity on why this decision was made. I have heard nothing," he said.

The bad language has been cut because he and co-producers are aware that young people will be involved, he said.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0724 OTT Tehel mug -T -M Resolution — Techel verdict reached

    DAVENPORT — The father of a slain Wapello County woman said he began to heal as soon as he heard the guilty verdict today. The jury unanimously pronounced Seth Techel, 23, guilty on charges of first-degree murder and non-consensual termination of a h

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police to parents: check kids' online activities BLOOMFIELD — The Bloomfield police chief says the arrests of nine men in connection with sexting a teenage girl underscores the need for parents to keep an eye on their children online. Chief Shawn Armstrong said cases involving one or two people are

    July 24, 2014

  • 0725 OTT birthday rumble -T -M Age 106, still ready to rumble OTTUMWA — With the stories flowing, Celma Birdsall had the ride of her life Thursday. "She shared a lot of memories," said her chauffeur for the day, Dennis Parrish. Birdsall has built up a lot of stories over the 106 years she's been around. After h

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0725 OTT College Connections color photo -T -M IHCC eases transition to college OTTUMWA — When choosing a college that's just right for you, it is important to find one that works its hardest to ensure your success as a student. Indian Hills Community College is doing just that this week with a College Connections Workshop spons

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0724 OTT Tehel mug -T -M Techel found guilty on both counts

    DAVENPORT — Jurors have found Seth Techel guilty in the 2012 murder of his wife, Lisa, and the couple’s unborn child.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Victim advocates: Helping families cope

    DAVENPORT — Family members of a slain Wapello County woman have someone to lean on — literally and figuratively — while they sit through a murder trial for the third time. Seth Techel, 23, is on trial in Scott County, Davenport. He faces charges of fi

    July 24, 2014

  • 0725 OTT Five Things logo -L -T Five things to do in southeast Iowa this weekend OTTUMWA — There's a wide variety of activities to choose from this weekend in southeast Iowa. Get out and explore the countryside, find some new books to curl up with or help raise money for some great causes. The choice is yours — pick one or attend

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0724 OTT Tehel mug -T -M Jury begins deliberations DAVENPORT — The fate of a Wapello County man accused of killing his wife is in the hands of a jury in Scott County, which began deliberations Wednesday and will continue deliberating today.The jury began deliberations about 4 p.m. Wednesday in the ca

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Van Buren says bye-bye to Waste Management KEOSAUQUA — Waste Management has been charging the Van Buren Community School District an average of nearly $1,600 a month to remove waste and recycled materials from the Douds and Keosauqua centers. Now faced with a bidding process, Waste Management

    July 23, 2014

  • Pesticide use is not all bad OTTUMWA — When you pick up a grocery ad, it seems like every other page has a produce item stamped USDA Organic, meaning that those items were spared from chemicals including Glyphosate, the most common pesticide in the world. As the Organic Food Mov

    July 23, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook