Exclusive: High School Canceled Santorum Visit Partly over Staff 'Information'

An errant email to parents suggests that the decision to disinvite former presidential candidate Rick Santorum from a visit to Grosse Pointe South High School in Michigan was likely taken at the behest of staff, not for the technical reasons cited publicly by the school's administration.

As Breitbart News' Ben Shapiro reported yesterday, the high school had canceled the visit earlier in the week over objections to his stance on same-sex marriage. Once the cancelation came to light, the school reinstated the visit, but required parental permission to attend, claiming the cancelation had been because Santorum had not spoken to a high school audience before, and not because of any particular political stance he had taken.

However, in an email intended to be sent to staff, and which was accidentally sent to parents, principal Matt Outlaw thanked staff members who had "shared additional information about the potential speaker" prior to the decision. 

Outlaw did not specify in the email the nature of that "additional information," but one student told the Detroit News that teachers had called Santorum "a bigot and a racist."

The text of the email to parents, and the subsequent email explaining and apologizing for the error, are as follows:

1. 

Sent: 4/8/2013 3:08:22 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: Assembly - April 24th Cancelled

Hi everyone,

As a follow-up to the proposed assembly on April 24th, I wanted to thank the many staff members that shared additional information about the potential speaker. Based on this information and a few other items, I am announcing that we are declining the invitation to have Rick Santorum speak to our student body. Dr. Harwood is very supportive of this decision and we feel that we were mislead in a few areas with this. Peter Fox, in particular, was amazing through this process and showed such maturity today as we declined the invitation for the speech. I am so sorry for the angst that this may have caused, but please plan for a regular day of school on April 24th.

Dr. Matt Outlaw

2. 

Sent: 4/8/2013 4:07:10 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: Assembly CancelledDear parents,

I apologize for the previous email about the GP South assembly. While the information is public, it shared information that was meant for South staff only. I very much apologize for this. Below is the message that was meant to be sent to parents.

"This note is to inform you that Wednesday, April 24th will be a regular day of school. We will not be hosting the proposed assembly featuring former presidential candidate Rick Santorum. Sorry for any confusion."

Dr. Matt Outlaw

Breitbart News has reached out to Dr. Outlaw for comment. Santorum has called the controversy "troubling."


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