Second parent tells Fox News that child received NOI graphic

Published 9:51 am Thursday, October 30, 2014

Photo by Brandon Hicks School Board

One day after Fox News reported on a local mother’s concerns over a paper her child obtained at school, officials at the Elizabethton City School system have learned another parent has reportedly contacted Fox News with the same claim.
In an updated story from Fox News opinion columnist Todd Starnes says he was contacted by a second parent who says his or her child also received a printout of a graphic produced by the Nation of Islam that claims the presidents on Mount Rushmore were racist. Starnes’ report doesn’t name the parent and says the individual asked not to be named to protect his or her child.
Superintendent Ed Alexander said he is aware of the allegation and has contacted Starnes about the claim.
“This was new to me as of yesterday,” Alexander said. “I did contact Mr. Starnes and asked him to have this parent contact the principal at Harold McCormick so that we can have more information and that we can research this.”
Harold McCormick principal Candace Patai said that while the school has received numerous calls from the public about the issue, she had not received any information about the second reported incident.
“I have not heard a word about that,” Patai said.
Starnes’ update, posted Tuesday, said the unidentified parent claimed to have come forward because of the way the first student was being portrayed. The parent also claimed the sheet was used in a group lesson in the class, he said.
The Elizabethton Star also reached out to Fox News for comment on Alexander’s claims that Starnes’ original story was “inaccurate” and the network had “defamed” the school system.
Fox News Director of Public Relations Carly Shanahan’s only response was to refer back to Starnes’ updated column, which accused Alexander of hurling “all sorts of allegations my way” and linked back to the director of schools’ written response on the ECS website.
Monday night, Starnes reported on Fox News’ website that Sommer Bauer, the mother of a third-grade student at Harold McCormick Elementary School, told him her “jaw dropped” when she saw the content of the paper her son brought home from school. On Tuesday, Alexander said he understood why Bauer would be upset.
“Every patriotic person would have that reaction,” Alexander said.
However, Alexander said the school system was now going to be stuck with the repercussions of Starnes’ “erroneous” report.
“What was reported, which had been rebutted prior to the airing, was misleading and totally incorrect,” he said. “I can only think it was shown for its sensational effect. Sadly, regardless of any follow-up report, our system has been defamed, possibly permanently.”
In his column Wednesday, Starnes took issue with Alexander’s claims.
“He never got around to telling us what was misleading or totally incorrect or sensational,” Starnes wrote. “And we still don’t know how that Nation of Islam information found its way into that third-grade classroom.”
He continued, saying Alexander “bemoaned” the possibility the school system has been defamed and took “great umbrage” at the document being classified as a handout.
Starnes ended the column by saying the Bauer’s child is a “victim of grown-up bullying.

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