Sunday, May 07, 2006

Battle cry for understanding

An apology fails to cut it at a private school in Birmingham after a "fair and balanced" history teacher asked students to sing a Confederate marching song as well as a song about Lincoln.

But Whitlynn Battle, whose 11-year-old daughter sang in the program, said the letters [including the teacher's apology] saddened her because they showed the school didn't grasp why black parents would be offended.

"I wasn't really looking for an apology," she said Wednesday. "I was looking for them to understand what was wrong with what they did and they went in the opposite direction. They don't get it and the sad thing is, I don't think they ever will."

Battle, who already planned to remove her child from the school at the end of this academic year, said no amount of balance would make up for her child singing a song that includes the lyrics "Hurrah! Hurrah! For Southern Rights!" and "here's to our Confederacy."

"There's nothing they could have sung after that song short of `We Shall Overcome' and I think I'd still be angry," she said. "Those words should not have come out of my daughter's mouth."

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