Why did an Oregon school district ban rap from its school buses? That's the question many were asking after Portland Public Schools issued a ban on the music genre from its school buses.
Portland Public Schools ordered its bus drivers to cease playing hip-hop and rap music after officials deemed the music to be “inappropriate” for student passengers, the Oregonian reported Wednesday. Senior director of transportation at Portland Public Schools, Teri Brady, sent out a notice to bus drivers this past March requesting that the drivers stop playing certain stations. The notice, which is dated March 9, 2016, stated that “The stations that are deemed inappropriate include any religious, rap music, or talk show programs.” The notice also listed a few acceptable music stations, which included country music, pop and jazz.
“We regret the way this was communicated,” district spokeswoman Courtney Westling told the Washington Post in a statement. “Our intent was to limit student exposure to religious teachings, profanity and violent lyrics.”
Outcry from parents and the community soon followed after the notice was sent out.
A local parent, Colleen Ryan-Onken, shared the letter earlier this week via social media and told the Oregonian that she was upset by the notice, stating, “I think it’s overtly racist and leaves out two of our major communities in our music choices,” she said, referring to the fact that Latin music had not been mentioned in the statement.
Fox News reported that Westling relayed that the school district received many complaints concerning the school bus music changes.
“The transportation department will be revising its guidance to bus drivers shortly to be more inclusive of different genres of music,” Westlling said in her statement to the Washington Post.
The Portland Public School officials are now rethinking the district-wide ban on the music genre.