The release of a controversial video that appears to show some Wellesley Middle School boys taking part in Muslim prayer during a social studies field trip in May had TV news vans swarming to the school Thursday night — and they hit the jackpot since it was smack in the middle of the school’s parent open house. Parents should be warned that you might want to talk to your kids ASAP if you have any thoughts about them talking or not talking to the reporters on this.
(Wellesley Middle School Principal Joshua Frank wrote a letter to parents Friday saying the “presence of media was a bit of a distraction” to some students but that teachers attempted to keep the kids focused. Though students were also offered the chance to yap about the issue in social studies classes. It was a stressful day for teachers and administrators by all accounts.)
WBZ hit up parents outside the school, finding two who seemed unfazed by the ordeal. The reporter also said that the parent who shot the video while chaperoning has chosen to stay anonymous to avoid potential backlash in the community.
WCVB reported this morning that fliers regarding the issue where stuck on people’s cars during the open house. A student interviewed said the trip was interesting.
WHDH also jumped on the story, noting that the episode ended with Wong’s apology (somehow, we think it probably hasn’t ended…)
NECN, in a video shown below, advanced the story by reporting that the parent who shot the video while chaperoning the trip is considering a lawsuit against the Wellesley school district. NECN also interviewed a spokesman for the mosque who said tour participants are never invited to take part in the prayers, so that it must have been something students did on their own. NECN’s van was back (or still) at the school Friday AM.
Wellesley School Superintendent Bella Wong issued an apology about the incident after release of the video, though the group exposing the video (titled “Wellesley, Massachusetts Public School Students Learn to Pray to Allah”) said that’s not enough.