Official Statement and Audio of Vicksburg High School Presentation
UPDATE 05/16/18: VICKSBURG COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT ADMITS DISHONESTY
After receiving a Cease and Desist letter from our attorney, the Vicksburg Community School District responded within 24 hours to the charges of defamation made in regard to Ryan Bomberger and The Radiance Foundation. We did not want to pursue a lawsuit with the school if they’d retract their defamatory statements. We simply wanted them to tell the truth. Ryan never veered from the school-approved outline, and it was in no-way “overtly political”. Despite sending blatantly dishonest statements via email to staff and parents, repeating the lies in local news stories, and posting for the world to see on Facebook, the school quietly posted a statement affirming what we’ve said all along. Read the Vicksburg Community Schools’ admission that show their initial statements were false. –The Radiance Foundation
A STATEMENT FROM THE RADIANCE FOUNDATION
Since the Vicksburg High School administration has chosen to dishonestly represent what occurred on Tuesday, May 1st and make that dishonesty public via Facebook (which has now been removed), The Radiance Foundation feels compelled to correct the record.
The school actually never “contracted” with Radiance. The motivational talk was offered (through a local organization) as a free presentation. The exact content approved by the school was what was delivered. Keep in mind, neither the Superintendent nor the Principal were present at the event. It is our understanding that the administration leadership was attending some form of training at that time. The school’s band teacher, Ben Rosier, opened up the assembly.
The multimedia presentation focused on how every human life has purpose. Ryan Bomberger talked about how we can show love and compassion to one another, about how we are all equal, and about how being human (regardless of labels) is our common denominator. Ryan encouraged students to care about one another and go out of their way to speak hope and life to each other, even when it’s uncomfortable.
No politics. No mention of abortion. No mention of pro-life. No mention of pro-choice. No mention of LGBT anything. What some students are up in arms about is their disagreement with our worldview as expressed in The Radiance Foundation’s thoroughly researched news articles and other creative content online…not what was presented in an apolitical, life-affirming way during Tuesday’s assembly.
“I’ve spoken to tens of thousands of students on college campuses (such as Harvard, Princeton, University of NotreDame, Columbia Law School and many more) as well as private high schools over the years. Never, following any event, have I seen the level of vulgar disrespect, distortions, and cruelty online like I’ve seen from a small group of Vicksburg High School students. Our Instagram account has been inundated with attacks (some even racist) by students and parents that are based on outright lies and are a sad reflection of Vicksburg,” says Ryan Bomberger, Co-Founder of The Radiance Foundation. “Unfortunately, these are the voices that drown out the positive feedback from Tuesday’s event.”
Contrary to the school administration’s assertion, there was absolutely no deviation from the school-approved outline. It is posted on this page for anyone to review. Both of the videos included in the outline, “One in 7 Billion” and “Life Has Purpose”, were able to easily be viewed on our website.
Perhaps this provides an opportunity for people to discuss what tolerance really means. If sharing a story about being adopted into a multiracial family, having a birthmom who chose to be stronger than the violence of rape, and striving to creatively illuminate that every life—regardless of past or present circumstances—is offensive, then there’s a much bigger issue to address.
The Radiance Foundation is saddened that the school’s administration has chosen to so recklessly misrepresent this situation.