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Subject: SV Choir at the Rally

To: bmaffly@sltrib.com, "Swenson, David" <David.Swenson@ccsdut.org>

Brian,
Thanks so much for talking with me and understanding this unfortunate situation. I have included our official
email response to concerned citizens and the letter that was sent home to our choir students. If you have any
further questions please contact me. Thanks again for helping us clear this up.

Dear ??????,
Thank you for expressing your concern about our choir program performing at this political function. I just
wanted to email you back and let you know why and how this happened. Let me start by saying our
administration would not endorse this activity and our wonderful choir director Karen Teuscher would not
endorse any political cause within her classroom or curriculum. However, she was at the right place at the
wrong time. Our performing choir class started this trip on Friday by singing at a couple of schools and
assisted living centers, then followed it up with a viewing of the "Pirate Queen" at the Hale Centre Theatre. On
Saturday, they visited the Capitol Building to tour it and experience singing in the acoustically unique setting.
Many people were listening to them sing within the building itself, as they were finishing their tour of the
Capitol they were approached by a woman and asked to sing the our National Anthem. Our choir director
talked with chaperoning parents and thought that it would be a great experience for our students. I know the
Salt Lake Tribune implied that our choir program was part of the rally but they had no plans or intentions of
being part of the rally. Once our students sang they left and returned home to Cache Valley. We (the
administration and choir director) were unaware of the rally until we received yours, and several others' emails
about the event. At this point, all we can say is that we are sorry for this unfortunate circumstance and the
possible negative views we may have created. We have learned a valuable lesson and take our
responsibilities as educators seriously. I have attached the letter that was sent home to our students from our
choir director, Karen Teuscher. I hope this helps you better to understand what happened and thanks again for
emailing your concerns to us. Please feel free to contact me if you have further questions or concerns.
-Shane Jones, Vice Principal
Sky View High School
435-757-9842

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3/7/16 2:37 PM

DearParents,
Wehadawonderfultourthisweekend!Yourstudentssangsobeautifully!Itwasagreatexperiencetohear
themsingatretirementcentersandschools,toattendanamazingproductionattheHaleTheatre,andtosing
andexploretheamazingacousticsatthestateCapitolbuilding.Wemadesomemanygreatmemoriesonthis
trip!YourchildrenareamazingandIamsoblessedtobetheirteacher!
IwantedtosendanemailtoexplainourpresenceattheCapitolBuilding.Wevisitedthatbuildingtoappreciate
thehistoricbuilding,andespeciallytosingthere.Weexploredtheacousticsofthebuildingforaboutan
hour...experimentingbystandingindifferentpartsofthebuilding,singingmuchofourchoirliterature,and
listeningtotheawesomeechoandresonanceofthebuilding.Itwassomagicalandlifechanging.The
studentslovedeveryminuteofthatmagicalmusicalexperience.Aswewereleaving,somepeopleonthe
Capitolstepsaskedmeifwewouldsingthenationalanthemforthem.Ididn'treallyknowwhotheywere,butI
thoughtthattheymightbepromotingtheUtahconstitutionbecausesomeonehandedmeacopyofit.Wehad
somebriefconversationamongthemomsthatwerechaperoningandwejustthoughtitwasanicethingtodo
tosingthenationalanthemwhenasked,sowequicklysangit,andthenleft.Wewerenotpresentforany
portionofaprogramthatapparentlyhappenedafterweleft.Itturnsoutthatitwasarallyfor++++++something
verycontroversial.Ididnthaveanyideawhatthisgatheringwasabout.Thisafternoon,however,Principal
Swensoncontactedmeaboutreceivingalargenumberofemailsfrompeoplewhowereupsetoverour
perceivedparticipationandsupportofthisgroup.OursolereasonforgoingtotheCapitolbuildingthatdaywas
musical.Theotherparentchaperonescanalsobewitnessesastoourpurposeandactivitiesthere.Iwasjust
(probablynaively)tryingtobehelpfulwhenIagreedtosingthenationalanthemanddidnotseethatasan
expressionofsupportofforanyparticularcauseorparty.Idonotsupportthisgroup,andwouldnevertryto
includeanykindofpoliticalagendainmyclassroomorcurriculum.Iassureyouthattherewasnointeraction
betweenourSkyViewstudentsandthegroupthatwasthere.
IhavedefinitelylearnedthatIshouldhaveaskedmorequestionsbeforeagreeingtosingforthem,andthatit
wouldhavebeenbetterfindoutwhothepeopleattherallywerebeforeagreeingtosing.Iapologizefornot
thinkingthisthroughthoroughly.
Theremaybesomepressaboutthesituation.Ijustwantyoutoknowexactlywhathappened,thatourpurpose
andintentionwereinnocent,andIapologizeforthesituation,asgoodasmyintentionswere.
Wereallydidhaveawonderfultour!Iwilltreasurethemusicalmemorieswiththosekids.Ihopethatthiswill
notplaceacloudonthosewonderfulmemoriesforthestudents.
Ifyouhaveanyquestions,pleasedonothesitatetocalloremail.
Sincerely,
KarenTeuscher

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