PORTLAND – Portland Public Schools bus drivers will have an expanded menu of listening options this school year.
The district drew criticism from some parents after a March directive limited drivers to radio stations that played pop, country and jazz. The district banned talk radio, religious stations and rap music, the latter of which led to allegations of racism.
District spokeswoman Courtney Westling says the intention was to limit student exposure to violent lyrics and religious teachings. She says the district is revising its guidance to drivers and it will be more inclusive of different genres.
Portland and rap music have had a strained relationship in recent years, with complaints that police target hip-hop clubs.
Portland Public Schools, however, was enough of a supporter to approve a hip-hop themed charter school. Poor planning by the organizers caused the school to be shut down shortly before its scheduled opening.
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