"It is a topic that is really important," Eidahl said. "Just because it's not taking place at Ottumwa High School doesn't mean it won't appear in Ottumwa. There's a time and place for this play. I'd love to see the Ottumwa Community Players produce it. I would just like to reserve Ottumwa High School productions to be an event for the entire family, which [includes] young children in the audience."
Eidahl said the decision has been made. Drama students say they haven't given up.
"We have our fingers crossed," said Jordan, who attended a meeting Monday with her fellow theater club members. "We're going to do what we can."
That includes asking their parents to read the play. If they can tell the district that as parents, they find the play acceptable, it might ease the minds of administrators. The student said the OHS drama department has heard messages from supporters in Ottumwa.
"If the administration sees it's not just the theater department that wants to do it, if they're not going to listen to the theater department, maybe they'll listen to the other [community] people ready to ... go to bat for us with the school board," Jordan suggested.
"Just because we're choosing not to have one play doesn't mean we're not going to continue having the conversation of acceptance, of respect, responsibility and compassion," said Eidahl. "We'll never let up on our effort to make sure every student feels comfortable and safe coming to school. It's important that our community know the amount of energy and attention placed on creating that sense of belonging. I have no tolerance for any kind of bullying or harassment. "
Efforts to reach school board members and the high school drama teacher were unsuccessful as of press time Tuesday.