Parents express support, concern with school’s MLK performance

Central Point, Ore.- Central Point School District Six is receiving some backlash from the community after some parents found its Martin Luther King Jr. celebration to be offensive.

Family, friends, and students of Central Point schools were all invited to attend Thursday night’s MLK event. While some parents thought the performances were moving others were concerned about the message it sent to their children.

“He did warn us that things might make us uncomfortable,” Tina Waddell, parent said.

According to some parents, the performance took a drastic turn involving sex, politics, and inappropriate language.

“They were considered words that we don’t use in our house hold,” Jessica Lount, parent said.

Waddell and Lount both had kids singing in the choir in Thursday’s program. But both had different reactions to what they saw.

“I wasn’t shocked or surprised,” Waddell said. “I was proud about their bravery.”

“It was more uncomfortable for me having to talk about that situation with my son and I’m not ready to talk about that with my son yet,” Lount said. “I still want him to be a kid.”

Lount says she’s not against what was said just where it happened.

“They should express themselves,” she said. “I think that it’s great for them to talk about it among their peers and especially to their parents but to seven-year-olds and eight, 10 year- olds, they’re not ready for that yet.”

The Central Point School District offered a statement through Facebook saying, District Six encourages and supports student voice, but recognizes that the event was a missed opportunity. It also says it will inform parents if future performances may be unsuitable for younger students.

“I would just like a little bit of notice so I can make that decision on my own,” Lount said.

While some parents walked away shocked, others say the underlying message was clear to them.

“For the most part it was about unity, it was about breaking down walls, it was about talking to each other and listening,” Waddell said.

NBC5 News reached out to the district’s superintendent, but haven’t heard back.

NBC5 News reporter Karen Tang graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in communications and a master’s in journalism.

Before coming to Medford, Karen was an intern at WUSA9 and NBC News Channel in Washington D.C.

During her time in Maryland, Karen was an NCAA Division I student-athlete on the Maryland gymnastics team. She competed against Big Ten universities and made the Big Ten All-Championship team.

When Karen isn’t reporting, she’s at the gym working out, taking pictures with her dog Boomer and searching for the best food in Southern Oregon.

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