The order, from Portland Public Schools, was for bus drivers to cease playing "inappropriate" music while students were aboard. Teri Brady, senior director of transportation at Portland Public Schools, sent out a notice in March asking bus drivers not to play certain radio stations. It instructed against playing "stations that are deemed inappropriate including any religious, rap music, or talk show programs." The notice also gave examples of acceptable music genres, including jazz, country music and pop.
District spokeswoman Courtney Westling released a statement saying, "We regret the way this was communicated," and that, "Our intent was to limit student exposure to religious teachings, profanity and violent lyrics."
Colleen Ryan-Onken, a local parent, shared the notice on social media, "I think it’s overtly racist and leaves out two of our major communities in our music choices," pointing out that Latin music and other ethnic music genres were not on the list.
Portland school officials are now reconsidering their decision. Westling said in her statement, "The transportation department will be revising its guidance to bus drivers shortly to be more inclusive of different genres of music."