NILES, Mich. — Sources have provided REAL News Michiana screenshots from a conversation between several activists and teachers at Brandywine schools looking to pressure the Niles Daily Star into removing a reporter from covering issues regarding a controversial book policy at Brandywine Schools, despite the activists and teachers admitting the reporter’s coverage has been accurate.
Since February, school board members have been working on a check-out policy for books that could be deemed sexually explicit or violent. A group of teachers and activists have been fighting against the policy, falsely calling it “book banning.”
On September 12, Niles Daily Star Reporter Debra Haight reported on Brandywine’s latest school board meeting. While the entire article was true and accurate, the group was upset.
“Debra H sides with them (folks in support of the new book policy) in case anyone wondered before.” Brandywine English Teacher Debbie Carew wrote under a post of Haight’s story. “And, we need to write to the paper requesting a different reporter. She is obvious (sic) biased.”
Ambrosia Neldon, the current Cass County Communications Manager and former employee with Leader Publications (owner of the Niles Daily Star), responded.
“I’ll talk to them.” Neldon said. “Don’t shoot the messenger, y’all, but I don’t really think this article is slanted. Do they need to know that she has apparent bias? Yes, and I’ll happily share that. But we can’t expect ONLY ‘our side’ to be heard.”
The messages were sent in the private Facebook group called “Brandywine Alumni, Parents, and Educators for Education Freedom” which currently has 750 members.
Neldon and Carew have been two of the leaders of the group and frequently speak at school board meetings in which they attack parents, school board members and conservatives. Carew also recently broke several school policies with a political stunt involving a book grant and could face disciplinary action.
RNM reached out to the Niles Daily Star for comment. As of publication, we have not received a response.
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