REPRIMANDED LEGEND- Crenshaw High’s renowned choir director Iris Stevenson has been reprimanded as the educator for flying students to perform in France and to sing for President Barack Obama without receiving permission from the district. Associated Press Photo
Crenshaw High School’s renowned Choir Director Iris Stevenson has been responsible for taking urban students from one of Los Angeles Unified School District’s few remaining predominantly African American schools to places they may otherwise only dream about
Her choirs made up of poor urban teenagers have consistently blown away audiences across the country, in foreign nations, and in churches right in their own backyards since 1985.
Because of Stevenson, Crenshaw students have been personally invited on tours of France by President Jacques Chirac and good will campaigns across Asia and to the White House.
Stevenson has been lauded throughout the world and America for her leadership and mentoring musicians, but this week she remains suspended by the LAUSD for what many believe she should be saluted for.
Supporters rallied on her behalf in front of Crenshaw High School two weeks ago to demand that LAUSD allow Stevenson to continue performing miracles at the school.
However she was reprimanded as the educator for flying students to perform in France and to sing for President Barack Obama without receiving permission from the district.
"You have teachers who have been in teacher jail for years - not months - years. They are paid to sit and look at a cubicle," explained Celes King IV with the Congress of Racial Equality of California (CORE-CA) at the rally.
Stevenson has been in the so called teacher jail since December 2013.
The LAUSD refused to comment on the case, saying it is a personnel matter. They added that Stevenson's status with the district has not changed - she is still getting her full pay and benefits.
Unfortunately, the students at Crenshaw High School are not receiving the benefits that she brings to the school.
One of Stevenson’s former students hailed her as a legend.
"Ms. Stevenson is a legend. She is a mother. She is someone who helps people," said Goward Horton, class of 1996.