School Bus Music Censoring Creates Uproar


The Portland Public School system issued new policies on what type of music is acceptable to be played over the school bus radios.

Three types of music were banned as inappropriate – but one is stirring up the largest protest, amid cries of racism, reports The Oregonian.

Portland Schools’ senior director of transportation, Teri Brady, sent an order to bus drivers banning “religious, rap music, or talk show programs.”

“Our intent is to limit student exposure to religious teachings, profanity and violent lyrics.”

The memo gave a list of acceptable stations, approving pop, country and jazz.

One parent, Colleen Ryan-Onken, got a copy of the music guidelines, and said she was livid, claiming it was racist to ban rap music, and said country music can be just as offensive as rap.

“When you outlaw a kind of music that is very indicative of the modern culture of one group of people you’re basically saying that they’re not welcome,” Ryan-Onken said. “Those of us in the district, living in diverse communities in Portland, understand the racial equity stuff going on is entirely for the cameras. There is no real meat behind it.”

Now the school is re-thinking the ban.

“We regret the way this was communicated. Our intent is to limit student exposure to religious teachings, profanity and violent lyrics,” said Portland Public Schools spokeswoman Courtney Westling. “The transportation department will be revising its guidance to bus drivers shortly to be more inclusive of different genres of music.”

Of the three prohibited selections, the outrage was all over the banning of rap music – even though it includes references to violence and shootings.

School OR music ban

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