Media Blew Carondelet Controversy Out of Proportion

Media Blew Carondelet Controversy Out of Proportion

Ari Stein, Staff Writer

Carondelet High School managed to make international news while trying to honor Black History Month with a questionable menu. Although the menu was offensive to some, the media blew it out of proportion.

On Monday Feb. 3, Carondelet announced their menu consisting of watermelon, fried chicken, and cornbread. “Following the announcement, students were outraged and offended and told their parents of the incident. Many angry parents called the school complaining and someone called NBC on Tuesday night. Then on Wednesday news reporters came to interview students,” said an anonymous sophomore at Carondelet.

Black Student Union members at Carondelet wanted to come up with a way to honor Black History Month and decided a lunch would be suitable. It is unclear who came up with the menu, but a spokeswoman says the menu was announced without administrative knowledge. Although the entire school has been criticized, only a small group made this plan and the entirety should not be penalized.

The effects of the media have been overwhelmingly negative. If you were to google Carondelet High School, all that would come up are endless news articles about the racist choice of a menu. It not only degraded the school’s reputation, but has also been affecting students. A few students at Carondelet have received death threats, and/or are humiliated by this controversy.

Yes, the idea had to come from somewhere, but not all Carondelet students participated in this. It was a controversial choice high school student’s made. The administration did not approve of this menu before it was announced, it was solely the students. News stations did not need to rush over to the school and attack students with questions.

“We didn’t expect it to make national news, so we were all shocked to see we did,” the Carondelet sophomore said.  The menu could have obviously been construed as racist; however, it was an ignorant mistake and should not have made international news. The vibe at Carondelet following the incident was quite the opposite of upbeat and positive.

Carondelet tried taking action to lessen the effects. On the Wednesday following the announcement, at an assembly Carondelet Principal, Nancy Libby, distributed apology letters explaining it was a misunderstanding. “I’d like to apologize for the announcement and any hurt this caused students, parents, or community members,” Libby said in the letter. “Please know that at no time at Carondelet do we wish to perpetuate racial stereotypes.” The school hoped following the distribution of the letter, the situation would clear up, but with constant reminders of what happened, the media made it hard for them to move on.

Carondelet was already dealing with the wrath of the controversy after the announcement, the media did not need to step in and make matters worse.