TV show about issues at John McDonogh High School draws criticism

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wwltv.com

Posted on February 20, 2013 at 11:22 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 20 at 11:42 PM

Scott Satchfield / Eyewitness News
Email: ssatchfield@wwltv.com | Twitter: @satchfield

NEW ORLEANS -- An online trailer for the show ‘Blackboard Wars’ on the Oprah Winfrey Network shows fistfights in the halls of John McDonogh High, and describes the school as one of the most dangerous in America.

Sandra Ewell, who has lived nearby for years and is even shown as a protester in the trailer, believes the show -- which claims to focus on a turnaround around at the school -- carries a damaging theme.

"They're calling this school the worst school in America. These children are living up to that. They're giving it very negative connotations," Ewell said. "These children have to go to school with that title and that's wrong."

"I feel that (students) don't feel that they're being validated. I don't think it's a fair title."

Eyewitness News was unable to reach school officials for comment Wednesday.

Ewell expressed her concerns near the intersection of Esplanade and Broad Street Wednesday afternoon, where, according to the NOPD, an argument between several high school students escalated to gunfire.

"Gunshots erupt, leaving a teenager in critical condition, shot twice to the body,” said Officer Frank Robertson, an NOPD spokesman.

Robertson wouldn’t confirm whether the students involved in the incident attend John McDonogh, but the school's principal, Dr. Marvin Thompson, issued this statement on Facebook:

"Our thoughts and prayers are for a full recovery for those injured. School will continue as normal. All other questions should be referred to police, regarding this matter.”

 

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