At Tuesdays’ school board meeting, Anchorage School Board member Dave Donley asked School Superintendent Jharrett Bryantt, “What board policy was the basis for your denial of former U.S. Secretary Dr. Ben Carson speaking at Mountain View School?”
Must Read Alaska on Tuesday had reported that although brain surgeon Dr. Carson, who was the first person to successfully separate head-conjoined twins, had been scheduled to speak to students while he is in Anchorage next week, the superintendent intervened and canceled the engagement.
Bryantt responded, “Sure, ah, that’s a great question, member Donley. There’s not a specific policy. It’s within the authority of the superintendent to make that call um … I’m happy to summarize some of the thinking that went into that perhaps at a ‘Board Connect’ but we respectfully declined the invitation,” Bryantt said.
Donley continued: “So if Vice President Harris was in town, and she did a fundraiser with the Democratic Bartlett Club, would you not let her speak at one of our schools this year?”
Bryantt said that it was not a situation that he has encountered, “but these situations are case by case, um, this isn’t necessarily a partisan thing, this is really about protocols, and keeping the focus on what it needs to be, which is on back to school and safety.”
The exchange between Donley and Bryantt begins at the 18-minute mark on this meeting video:
Carson is coming to Anchorage and will keynote an evening for the Anchorage Republican Women’s Club. His friends arranged for him to speak to students at the school, where many students attend and live lives mirroring his own upbringing. He went on to become a famous brain surgeon, who ran for president in 2016, and then became the 17th secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Trump Administration.
In his autobiography, “Gifted Hands,” Dr. Carson describes his journey from an angry, struggling young boy with every disadvantage to the director of pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.
“As a boy, he did poorly in school and struggled with anger. If it were not for the persistence of his mother, a single parent who worked three jobs and pushed her sons to do their best, his story may have ended tragically,” says the description of his book at Amazon. “A man of humility, decency, compassion, courage, and sensitivity, he now serves as a role model for everyone who wants to achieve their God-given potential.”
Last year, he has co-authored a book on education, “Crisis in the Classroom.”