As students, alumni, faculty, and other members of the George School community, we demand an apology for the outrageous and demeaning portrayal of our educational community that was recently aired on Fox News.
Politics aside, Fox News' report on George School's "Christmas Play" (which was actually a dance performance, for the record) was designed in a misleading fashion with the intent of slandering George School and the members of its community, some of whom have been made to feel targeted and unsafe. We find this despicable, and maintain that a legitimate news company is expected to report on events in an objective manner, not to publicly bully or slander organizations with which it finds fault.
Amongst the inaccuracies in Fox's report are the following:
1. George School is located in NEWTOWN, Pennsylvania, not "Newton". The town was both misstated in the report and misrepresented on a map.
2. The "Holiday Play" referred to was actually this year's edition of the annual Holiday dance performance, which is put on for the community during assembly but is not an "official" holiday play. The school also holds a Christmas-themed Meeting for Worship every year with a program of traditional holiday music and ceremonial readings. This tradition was not mentioned in the report, which instead suggested that the school was replacing traditional holiday celebrations with "a play about Occupy Wall Street".
3. While suggesting that George School does not respect Christian values, Fox neglected to note that the Religious Society of Friends--with which George School affiliates--is a protestant sect of Christianity formed nearly 400 years ago and Quakers were one of the largest Christian groups to originally settle in what is now the United States. George School maintains Quaker services and requires students to attend these at least once per week.
4. Fox news referred to George School as a "$30K School", which suggests a level of wealth and elitism that is simply not accurate in describing many George School students. While the school's tuition for boarding students does exceed $30,000 per year, most families do not pay full tuition, as George School offers generous financial aid packages and strives to make its education affordable to lower income students. In addition, many students who would not otherwise be able to afford George School do so on academic or merit-based scholarships.
5. The suggestion that Occupy Wall Street would "go right over those kids' heads" is an insult to the intelligence of every George School student. It suggests that George School students are not engaged with current events or the community around them and that teachers at George School are pushing some sort of sinister agenda. If Fox News had taken the time to actually visit George School (which it clearly did not do, since it failed to identify the school's geographic location), it would have been clear to their reporters and crew that this was not the case.
6. The statement that George School dancers would "poop on a sled" during the performance is immature, disgusting, and even as a joke has no place on a legitimate news show.
We demand that Fox News correct these mistakes during a future episode of "Fox and Friends" and that the network issue a public apology for their misrepresentation of our community.
Malcolm Culleton started this petition with a single signature, and now has 1,208 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.