Officials apologize for propaganda-laced assembly
Baldwin School District officials have apologized for an assembly conducted Thursday for Baldwin High School students that was supposed to be a Veterans Day tribute, but instead was a "propaganda-laced recruiting tool using inappropriate language and images."
All BHS students attended the assembly that was in the Baldwin Junior High School gym because it was a power-point display. What the students saw was shocking, said Supt. Paul Dorathy, who promised it wouldn't happen again.
"This year we couldn't have the assembly on Veterans Day," said Dorathy. "Our staff had contacted the military through Fort Riley and asked if they could do a program on honoring our veterans and character education. We were assured that they had a top-notch program.
"When the assembly started they were talking about the military in general and there was a slide show behind him," he said. "Behind the speaker some inappropriate slides went up on the wall as he was talking containing inappropriate messages, inappropriate language. Instead of an assembly to honor veterans, it turned into more of a military recruiting message."
Some BHS teachers got up and left in protest, but the students stayed. Dorathy said Fort Riley was contacted today to get an explanation for the program.
"What we've gotten back from them is that this was a slide show that would normally be shown to troops to recruit them into special operations instead of the normal slide show that would be shown to high school students," he said.
He wasn't given an explanation as to why it was shown.
"They've just been hugely apologetic and sorry that this happened," said Dorathy. "That's about all we've gotten from them."
Dorathy said it won't happen again.
"We are now reviewing our protocols on school assemblies and working to make sure our assemblies are appropriate for our students," he said. "I would say that we apologize for this happening. We should have had protocols in place to control this and we didn't."
The Signal will have a story on the situation in Thursday's Signal.