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School district bans rap music on school buses

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV/CNN) -- A school district in Oregon wants to limit what kind of music the school bus drivers listen to while on the job.

Amber Diaz talks to one parent about the letter.

"This letter is typical of how Portland Public Schools treats people of color," parent Kim Sordyl said.

The letter was sent in March to Portland Public Schools bus drivers.

"This letter looks like it was written by Archie Bunker," parent Kim Sordyl said.

It states that any religious music, rap music or talk show programs are not allowed while kids are riding the bus.

"I understand not wanting bus drivers to play religious music because there is a separation between church and state, so you don't want to play any specific religion, but when they select one type of music and it's rap music and they call it offensive I think that's a big problem," Sordyl said.

Sordyl says parents have reached out to her weekly with the same concerns.

She says she's become the spokesperson for them all.

"A lot of times they'll just get tired of trying to deal with the district and they'll just come to me," Sordyl said.

She says when she brought up the letter to the school board she was ignored.

"One of the things they defended themselves is saying, ‘Well we don't want any swearing, or bad words,’ well the FCC prevents that from happening so that no excuse," Sordyl said.

A representative from Portland Public Schools sent us this statement after they received backlash from parents:

"We regret the way this was communicated. Our intent was to limit student exposure to religious teachings, profanity and violent lyrics. The transportation department will be revising its guidance to bus drivers shortly to be more inclusive of different genres of music."

Kim is a mother of two boys who listen to all kinds of music.

"They love all kinds of music and they can’t understand why the school district treats people this way," Sordyl said.

Even though the district put out a response, she's waiting to hear more from PPS officials.

"What I asked them to do was explain to me how this happened who made the call and why single out rap music and number two I want a proposal how they will remedy this in advance," Sordyl said.

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