The controversy surrounding the student-directed play "Corpus Christi" at Tarleton State University has created waves among Stephenville residents for weeks. Now, that controversy has expanded far beyond the city limits, with lasting effects.
Lee Ann Adams, an Aledo resident and mother of two teenage boys, canceled her children's Texan Tour reservations after viewing a report on a local news channel about the play, which depicts a gay Jesus-like character.
"(I canceled) primarily to make a point to my children that as Christians we have to stand up for what we believe," Adams said.
Adams said she is confident she made the right decision, which was reinforced once she spoke with her children.
"When I spoke to them about my actions, they felt like it was the right decision to make as a family," Adams said.
Adams said despite the increased security that will be provided by local law enforcement agencies, she does not feel it is a safe environment.
"How can they even think that the campus is going to be a safe place on Saturday?" Adams said. "I don't want to be there and I don't want my kids to be there."
And the family's weekend plans may not be the only change coming as a result of the play.
"I am struggling with the future and if my kids would want to apply there what my feelings would be paying for that tuition," Adams said.
The results of the controversial play are something that Adams said she hopes the Tarleton administration will consider.
"There are ramifications that went beyond Stephenville," Adams said. "When you make decisions there are consequences and I don't think Tarleton has thought through what the consequences will be."
Adams said she understands the university must protect its student's freedom of speech and has shared her own thoughts with the university.
"I did write the school and let them know the reasons why (I canceled)," Adams said. "We can choose to come to an agreement with that or can choose to stand against it. This is not just a play about homosexuality - this has crossed the line. They have crossed the line."
Meanwhile, Tarleton officials, including Police Chief Justin Williams and Associate Vice President of Marketing and Communication Liza Benedict, met with journalism students Thursday afternoon to discuss a slew of campus-related topics.
One student asked if the media would be allowed into the production.
"We asked the students what their preference was," Benedict said.
While the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that director John Jordan Otte chose the play to "create a sense of acceptance, tolerance and unconditional love," Benedict reported that the class as a whole objected to media guests.
"The students said they were not interested in having the media present," Benedict said.
Tarleton is also preparing for protestors, who are expected to descend on the campus to dispute Saturday's 8 a.m. performance. Parking lot P15 has been designated as the protest area and will open at 6:30 a.m. Williams said protestors will be required to vacate campus around noon.