Skit at MLK event in southern Oregon leads to walkout

A skit sparked controversy at a community event celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. in southern Oregon.

Posted: Jan. 15, 2018 3:57 PM
Updated: Jan. 15, 2018 4:02 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) - A ripped-from-the-headlines skit sparked controversy at a community event celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. in southern Oregon.

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The Mail Tribune reports much of the audience walked out of last week's event because of the skit produced by Crater Renaissance Academy students. Most complaints stemmed from a video clip of Eric Garner telling New York police he couldn't breathe shortly before his 2014 death.

In a letter to parents, Central Point School District Superintendent Samantha Steele apologized for material that could be perceived as "inappropriately political, disturbing or unsuitable for younger students."

Southern Oregon University professor Alma-Rosa Alvarez was a keynote speaker. Alvarez told the newspaper she believes parents objected to the portrayal of police officers rather than the video of a man's death.

Crater Renaissance Academy declined comment, but Alvarez defended the political tone of the event as true to the civil rights leader.

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