Our office was slammed January 23rd & 24th with concerns from the West Unity / Alvordton community surrounding an assembly held for Junior High and High School students at the Millcreek West Unity School District (Hilltop). Concerns surrounded strong language and a comment made concerning “self-touching” by guest speakers from 92.5 Kiss FM (Toledo) morning crew. The comments and language were confirmed by over forty either in attendance or parents who learned of the issue from their children the evening of the event.
The assembly was part of the hard efforts of faculty who organized assemblies and speakers to address bullying, a very serious concern within the public school systems.
In a phone interview with Superintendent Dr. Bob Smith, Smith stated that he was unaware of any complaints received from the community though he was in Columbus addressing State Funding issues. Late week phone messages and emails to administration and directors of the event at the school were not returned before by our print deadline.
We also emailed both 92.5 Kiss FM and Clear Channel requesting a statement with no response received.
Generalizing the concerns received at our office (noting that many parents and students requested to not have their names shared), the majority were concerned that students were subjected to cursing and “self-touching” comments in a public school assembly. Many of the parents indicated that they felt if a guest speaker began to utilize such language, that the school should have shut the assembly down.
The morning crews at 92.5 Kiss FM (also known as “shock jocks”) have had a long tradition and high ratings surrounding their “on edge / on air” comedy, especially among younger listeners.
On the flip side, some students and parents on our facebook business page felt those concerned were being overly sensitive as such language is heard in public schools systems and that the flair up over language took away from the positives of the program. Many of those with this concern were extremely appreciative of the D.J.’s efforts to come to the school to address bullying.
Comments made by all sides may be viewed at www.facebook.com/villagereporter.
Either way, our office received more comments out of the blue concerning this subject than any other event taking place in our communities over the past three months. Our newspaper staff provided coverage of the bullying assembly held Thursday night, which was a very positive and moving assembly.
At time of publication, it is unknown if a video or audio recording of the assembly that drew these concerns was available. If we receive further information on the subject, it will be reported online at www.thevillagereporter.com and on our facebook page: www.facebook.com/villagereporter.