An attempt to keep the atmosphere on its school buses free from offensive, language has landed Portland Public Schools officials in hot water with parents who call such efforts “overtly racist” and designed to exclude certain “cultures” within the community.

It appears that some parents are happy to have their children listen to rap and hip-hop music, with their often sexually explicit, racially charged and violent lyrics on their daily ride to and from school every day.

The charges have the school district reviewing its decision to ban the genres, including religious programming on radio stations, which it had deemed “inappropriate.”

The senior director of transportation at Portland Public Schools, Teri Brady, had issued a rule for district school bus drivers last March that banned “religious, rap music, or talk show programs,” but approved pop, country and jazz stations on the daily commute for the students.

But after a parent obtained the memo, the district came under fire for its decision as one parent said, “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.”

Apparently the concept that not every parent wants their child listening to rap on the school bus did not occur to the angry mom, nor she consider that her child is free to listen to rap and hip-hop at home to their heart’s content.


Rap and hip-hop are notorious for their gritty, urban and sexual themes and lyrics that may not be appropriate for all students.

One song, “Pumped Up Kicks,” by Foster the People’s, hit number one in 2012, but its lyrics threatening a school shooting resulting in some radio stations refusing to play in, especially in the aftermath of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

“All the other kids with the pumped up kicks / You better run, better run, outrun my gun. All the other kids with the pumped up kicks / You better run, better run, faster than my bullet.”

But parents who protested the Portland ban find the song more acceptable than “attacking” a so-called “culture,” even if that culture glamorizes school violence.

The district’s intent to shelter students by “limiting exposure to religious teachings, profanity and violent lyrics,” according to district spokeswoman Courtney Westling. fell to the overwhelming pressure and, folding under pressure, the district announced that it will revise the ban.

What was best for the students took a back seat to political correctness.

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