Highland Park HS Apologizes for Ruining Author’s Speaking Engagement

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On February 25th, author Jamie Ford wrote a scathing Facebook post about his speaking engagement at Highland Park High School during their LitFest. After Ford began his presentation, a group of students turned from attentive to disruptive. WFAA says they started clapping and cheering continuously to drown out his words. Ford posted to Facebook saying that he felt the incident was more than teens just acting up – he felt it was a display of bullying.

Highland Park High School officials have apologized to Ford and held an assembly with students to discuss how to act when a guest speaker visits. The principal adds that he should have stepped in earlier. Though they’re not happy with the way students acted, they’re also not entirely thrilled with Ford’s post, which read, “You are part of an educational system that gave the world Levi Pettit.” (In a viral video, college student Pettit lead a racist chant on a bus.)

LitFest co-chair Anne Besser told Fox 4 News she was surprised to see Ford bring up the incident, especially after he had returned and had a good time at the school the following day. But Ford says that after students had cheered when he spoke about Japanese Internment, he was concerned about racist undertones and a cultural issue at the school.