Waverly pep rally skit draws criticism
Waverly Central School District officials have vowed to take a closer look at school activities after a photo of students performing a skit at a recent pep rally caught negative attention nationwide.
The photo, which shows three white students wearing face makeup to appear African-American and re-enacting a 2009 incident in which performer Chris Brown was accused of beating his then-girlfriend Rihanna, amassed over 10,000 views and 100 comments by Monday night, 18 hours after Waverly High School alum Matthew Dishler posted it on CNN's iReport website.
The students performed the skit at the high school's pep rally Friday as part of the annual competition for the title of "Mr. Waverly."
In an article that accompanied the photo, Dishler accuses the students of displaying "acts of domestic violence as satire to an audience that included not only students but parents, faculty and various members of the media and community leaders."
The article also included statements from two alumni expressing their disapproval of the photo, which they said appeared to be offensive and racist and made light of domestic violence.
Joseph Yelich, superintendent of the Waverly Central School District, said in a statement to The Daily Review that he plans to meet Tuesday with administrators regarding the incident. He also plans to meet in the near future with extracurricular adviser and student groups.
"The Waverly School District is committed to creating a positive atmosphere through our activities," Yelich said. "I will be working with our building administrators, our staff and our students to examine our current activities and develop future activities consistent with our commitment."
"Ultimately, our administrators are going to need to meet with the whole student body to set clear expectations for our behavior and the impact it has on all people," he said.
Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.