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'Marian' students file public record request for Northwest Allen County Schools administration

Stella Brewer-Vartanian, a student producer for 'Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood,' spoke about the decision to request the documents from NACS at the BRAVE Center in Fort Wayne on Tuesday, July 11, 2023.
Ella Abbott
/
WBOI News
Stella Brewer-Vartanian, a student producer for 'Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood,' spoke about the decision to request the documents from NACS at the BRAVE Center in Fort Wayne on Tuesday, July 11, 2023.

Several Carroll High School students are filing a public records request with Northwest Allen County Schools for more information on its cancellation of Marian at the beginning of the year.

The request is seeking copies of all emails sent or received by superintendent Wayne Barker, assistant superintendent Bill Toler, former spokesperson Lizette Downey and Carroll Principal Cleve Million that discuss the play, its cancellation and any pertaining media requests.

Stella Brewer-Vartanian was a student producer for the independent production of Marian in May. She’s listed on the request for emails.

“All we want is for NACS to tell the truth," Brewer-Vartanian said. "Which is that they canceled the play because they were afraid of homophobic parents. Not because of student disruptions, not because of student behavior.”

According to students, school leadership told them the play was canceled over calls from parents expressing concerns over the LGBTQ+ elements of the play.

Students made their displeasure known during a board meeting, after which Superintendent Wayne Barker noted that while the school was concerned about protests, the issue had led to disruptions between students as well.

A spokesperson for NACS said the district doesn’t comment on records requests, but their statement regarding the cancelation remains the same.

Ella Abbott is a multimedia reporter for 89.1 WBOI. She is a strong believer in the ways audio storytelling can engage an audience and create a sensory experience.