"This play was very offensive and used every imaginable curse word,” Parker said, adding that the preachers weren’t trying to create an environment of hatred.
In published reports, Turlington said he objected to obscenity in the script, not homosexuality.
Elizabeth Squires, whose daughter Amber was one of Taylor’s students, said she wasn’t concerned about the words in the short, rewritten script.
"The whole thing was about showing people what hatred is, trying to prevent it. It wasn’t about gays,” she said. "This whole ordeal to me is that this was a teacher teaching kids to understand that we’re all different, we’re all unique and we all have different ideas.”
Norman group gets involved
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays became involved after someone called the group’s Norman hot line to report the controversy.
Kay Ham, president of PFLAG-Norman, said the group’s intention is to work constructively with the community, not to point fingers.
Kay Holladay, safe schools coordinator for PFLAG-Norman, said the teacher resignation is the school’s business, but the whole situation makes her want to cry.
"A lot of people find ‘Tom Sawyer’ offensive,” she said.
"What are you really censoring? Are you censoring an F word which can be seen and heard each and every day in the hallways of schools or trying to teach something concrete on hate crimes and the devastation of targeting people just because of who they are?”
Judie Bright, editor of the local weekly paper, the Big Pasture News, said she’s ready to see the controversy end.
"I hate to see our little town get a black eye, and I hate to see it divide our town,” she said.