Friday, October 19, 2012
Waverly pep rally iReporter speaks out

 

Matt Dishler, the Waverly High School alum who posted an iReport on Monday about a controversial pep rally skit at his former New York school, is laying low right now.

 

The iReport, which now has nearly 100,000 views and 445 comments, led to news stories and commentary from all over the country, including this article on CNN. Lots of people supported him for speaking out, but many others showered him with insults.

 

Dishler says he meant what he wrote and he knows he’s probably not going to change the minds of the current students (and others) who have been calling him names on the Internet and treating him like an evil super villain trying to destroy his old school’s traditions and make his town look ignorant and racist.

 

"I understand that they don’t get why I did what I did. That’s fine. That’s why this problem happened -- because they don’t understand why these things were offensive," he told CNN. "I still personally believe, and will defend to the end, that [the skit] was ridiculous and should have never taken place. I expressed that view and it was obviously a view that was not very popular with quite a few people."

 

To recap, the controversy began with a photo of Waverly students wearing face makeup to appear black and reenacting performer Chris Brown’s 2009 assault on his then-girlfriend Rihanna. It was part of a skit for Friday night’s pep rally. The photo started making its way around Facebook, where Dishler spotted it in his News Feed on Sunday. He wrote up his thoughts, got some quotes from other alums who saw the picture, and posted the story to iReport.

 

Dishler, a college student who lives in nearby Elmira, New York, grew up in Waverly, a small town on the New York-Pennsylvania border. Of Waverly's 4,444 people, 4,312 were white, according to 2010 census data.

 

He had a great experience in high school, and his parents both work for the Waverly school district. But he was offended and wondered how the school could have allowed a skit making light of domestic violence, while also apparently ignoring the racist history of blackface.

 

He says he hoped posting the photo on CNN would generate some meaningful discussion in the community. And he still hopes that.

 

He might have succeeded. On Thursday, The Daily Review reported that more than 50 community members packed the Waverly Central School District’s administration building to discuss the fall-out. According to the newspaper, superintendent Joseph Yellch told the crowd, "We're seizing this as a teachable moment … We're putting together a real good, ongoing intervention plan. This is not going to be a one-time thing."

25 Comments
October 19, 2012
Click to view paulmartinDJ's profile

For anyone with an ounce of intelligence to attempt to conceal or deny that racism exists in all races and in every form of life in America or anywhere else is both ignorant and stupid...because we in the media fully recognize it always has and always will !

October 19, 2012
Click to view KiddoKayla's profile

iFindd This Veryy Disrespectuful . Chris Brown Did This To Rihanna And This Is No Joke Or Laughing Matter . Women Abuse Is Staright Up Cruel!

October 20, 2012
Click to view ch3ch2oh's profile

Chris Brown beats girls.  yep, it's true..

October 20, 2012
Click to view Arauna's profile

Chris Brown is a disgusting pig and the school should not have allowed the skit.  My question though is not why the school allowed it, but why did the students do it and what are they learning from their parents that they thought this would be funny?  I shudder when I think that young people such as these will one day be in positions of authority or even (God forbid!) President!

October 20, 2012
Click to view Thetoadster's profile

Political correctness raises its ridiculous head once again.  Chris Brown is black. Chris Brown did beat his girlfriend. What's the problem? If SNL had done this same skit, no one would be saying a word. Watch this story get more national attention than the Rhianna beating itself....LOL!!

October 20, 2012
Click to view EyeiandiEye's profile

This is actually hilarious, a smack in the face to every ignorant person who hears about it.

October 20, 2012
Click to view bhamilton's profile

Much ado about nothing. Get over yourselves people. They were polking fun at something else that was rediculous. All of this uproar is rediculous.

October 20, 2012
Click to view sklim's profile

This is not about political correctness.  Let's make this very general:  this skit is about one human being abusing another.  What about that is funny or enlightening?  Now let's make it very specific.  What if the situation was that someone was abusive to you and beat you up?  If a school put a skit of that in a pep rally how would you feel?  What if funny about that situation?  The issue is about the abusive acts of one human being towards another.  It goes way beyond color, ethnicity or gender.  What is truly sad, is that young people as well as the older women who was interviewed don't see anything wrong with this.  I can't help but wonder if any of them consider themselves as part of the "moral majority".

October 20, 2012
Click to view DavidTurn's profile

TheToadster is just as ignorant about why this is wrong as the students. White people wearing blackface is not something you will ever see on SNL and I challenge you to show us when it has ever happened in the past on that show.

It's not about political correctness it's about basic human dignity and common courtesy between races. The scope of your ignorance is breathtaking sir.

October 20, 2012
Click to view sklim's profile

In response to the comment "Much ado about nothing. Get over yourselves people. They were polking fun at something else that was rediculous. All of this uproar is rediculous. "

 

.... Please remind me to laugh and thoroughly enjoy watching a skit of you getting beat up.  I am sure it will inspire me and move me to "get over myself".

October 20, 2012
Click to view burghlady's profile

This act was stupidity on the part of the kids. This act was disgraceful on the part of the school moderators who did not preview the skit. This act is linked to the cultural acceptance of satirizing everything showing no respect for anything, e.g. SNL, Jimmy Kimmel, Bill Mayer, etc. This is what our kids are being taught, people. 

October 20, 2012
Click to view bigblack3's profile

Poor reporting job by CNN again. You only interview WHITE people. hello??? are they necessarily going to be offended? ask some black people you idiots!

October 20, 2012
Click to view vfrpilot1's profile

This is what happens when the races mix. No one wins

October 20, 2012
Click to view thebojac's profile

I see an awful lot of hateful comments that give me reason to reflect. First and foremost had this been in reverse Black/White there would be no mention, anywhere. Secondly youth today seems to idolize people who really only promote themselves for gain,and last but not least is the fact that as adults we have failed in my generation to instruct, supervise and punish correctly our wayward children. The parents of these children in the skit are the children of my children and I am just as guilty of supervisory negligence but I am working on that.Racial division is now as prevalent as ever because of certain people constantly bringing unwarranted interruption of natural healing, should these agitators be removed I contend we could and should grow into acceptance of each other. These individuals have discovered ways to benefit financially from our differences and care not the consequences are life threatening to the rest of us. I do not care what your "color" is, it is your soul that matters to me.

October 20, 2012
Click to view manhandler63's profile

What does beating a woman have to do with a pep rally. I mean....really?  The objection is about the racism?  How about the objection being about a skit showing domestic abuse at a pep rally?

October 20, 2012
Click to view ladybard's profile

Thank you manhandler63. My question exactly.

 

(I just posted something similar but for some reason it didn't come through).

 

So they are psyching up their athletes and student body with a skit about one person beating up another person?

October 20, 2012
Click to view AfterSilence's profile

..? Why would a dumb skit like this even be performed at a highschool pep rally anyway? What are they, five years old? Come on. Obviously they're not too educated if they would do an idiotic skit like this in the first place. Secondly, was it supposed to be comedic? Because abusive relationships are not particularly hilarious in my opinion--really in most peoples' opinions. Small-minded, immature students getting a good laugh out of something that isn't even worthy of a skit, wow. That's the kind of kids there are nowadays.

October 20, 2012
Click to view nunuvyurbiz's profile

So when someone like Eddie Murphy does a "whiteface" bit by portraying white people - not even recreating an actual event - is THAt racist? See "Coming to America."

 

It looks like the kid playing Rihanna was wearing a skirt of some kind. So is this sexist too?

 

Can only women portray women, and only blacks portray blacks? This country has really gone nuts.

October 20, 2012
Click to view Surinamenews's profile

I think that in no form domestic violence should be encourage. On the educational level it is better to bring it in such a way that it is clear that it is wrong , how we can prevent it and learn from mistakes.

 

We see today that people who can not control their anger even starts shooting at other people.

October 22, 2012
Click to view KrissyQ's profile

One word. Disrespectful

 

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October 26, 2012
Click to view BDChild's profile

This is very dangerous. kids should not allow this. every one raise his voice against it. it may cause any dangerous occurrence.

November 3, 2012
Click to view pf9271's profile

I don't normally writte about politicians, however now I feel I have to voice my disappointment about how Republician especially Giulliani is talking down our President and the way he's handling this latest disaster (sandy).  When we was trying to get ourselves up and running after 9/11, no one not Democrats nor Republician got on tv talking down our President Bush or mayor Giulliani instead  we all united to help.  We weren't advised of the extent of what had happen and how it was planned by Osama Bin Laden until the investigation was complete (which I feel was the best way to handle it.  I won't get into the whole thing such as going to was in Iraq  because of bush and the Republician party false stories about weapon of mass destruction and more.  My main point is we all waited to be advised of what had happen.  Now the Republician want President Obama to get on Tv and tell us every step he's taking to get to the bottom of what happen. This is a double standard and I don't believe I'm the only one that's tired of it.  I wish I could say we have come out of and beyond the racial discriminations that has long divided us as Americans, but it is even more evident each day.  We've  all heard how we want a government that stands together and together we are stronger.  I believe this to be true.  I am just a nobody that would like to see everybody Republician and Democratic really take these words and really believe them.  Come on people we are the greatest country and the greatest people in the world.  Can't the smartest people in this country show they can put politics aside when we need to unite to help each other.  By the way, I also think our President is smart enough to campaign and still do an excellent job as Commander in Chief, after all he is President and we know he has enough resources and people at his disposal to keep him informed.  As you all say after most speeches (even though I don't know if you believe it). " God bless America and it's people" , AMEN!

November 3, 2012
Click to view pf9271's profile

MI don't normally writte about politicians, however now I feel I have to voice my disappointment about how Republician especially Giulliani is talking down our President and the way he's handling this latest disaster (sandy).  When we was trying to get ourselves up and running after 9/11, no one not Democrats nor Republician got on tv talking down our President Bush or mayor Giulliani instead  we all united to help.  We weren't advised of the extent of what had happen and how it was planned by Osama Bin Laden until the investigation was complete (which I feel was the best way to handle it.  I won't get into the whole thing such as going to was in Iraq  because of bush and the Republician party false stories about weapon of mass destruction and more.  My main point is we all waited to be advised of what had happen.  Now the Republician want President Obama to get on Tv and tell us every step he's taking to get to the bottom of what happen. This is a double standard and I don't believe I'm the only one that's tired of it.  I wish I could say we have come out of and beyond the racial discriminations that has long divided us as Americans, but it is even more evident each day.  We've  all heard how we want a government that stands together and together we are stronger.  I believe this to be true.  I am just a nobody that would like to see everybody Republician and Democratic really take these words and really believe them.  Come on people we are the greatest country and the greatest people in the world.  Can't the smartest people in this country show they can put politics aside when we need to unite to help each other.  By the way, I also think our President is smart enough to campaign and still do an excellent job as Commander in Chief, after all he is President and we know he has enough resources and people at his disposal to keep him informed.  As you all say after most speeches (even though I don't know if you believe it). " God bless America and it's people" , AMEN!

December 19, 2012
Click to view Babytink14's profile

i think that it wasnt harmful to us it would be funny to me if i would of seen it...

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