KSTP News interviewed Ms. Kelly Fenton, concerned East Ridge parent, about the controversy surrounding the use of announcement-time to promote the Black Panthers under the guise of "Black History Month." They also interviewed Principal Aaron Harper.
KSTP presented the issue as unskewed as can be expected by a MSM outlet. However, they focused primarily on the fact that the poem, "A Black Child's Pledge," had been read during the announcement, with a little attention paid to the fact that the poem was from the Black Panthers. What readers and KSTP viewers need to understand is not the fact that the poem was read, it is the context in which it was read to "commemorate" the Black Panthers. Therein lies the difference: the poem as a literary device is innocuous, the poem being read in conjunction with a description of the Black Panthers as just a group of "militant marxists who are ok because they also fed children and helped with community organizing" is offensive.
Aaron Harper claims that he hadn't "vetted" the content that was to be read during Thursday morning's announcements and that it was "student-led." He assured KSTP that he would be better about paying attention to the information dispersed over the PA system of the school. The fact that Mr. Harper is shielding Tishanna Brown and claiming that he should have been more aware of what was being read leads one to wonder what else Tishanna Brown has been up to in her classroom - what part of her interests and biases are filtering through to her students, and why didn't Mr. Harper know what was being read to his entire school that morning? Furthermore, if it wasn't such a big deal, why is he assuring parents that he will "keep a closer eye" on things from now on?
Please stay tuned for more updates as this story continues.