Black KCCI reporter speaks about treatment at Ankeny school board meeting


Following an Ankeny school board meeting on Monday evening, KCCI reporter Lauren Johnson shared on Twitter that she was “shocked” and “embarrassed” by the way she was treated when she tried to cover it up.

What happened: The centered meeting on hiring for an additional position in diversity, equity and inclusion, an open position that the district recently posted and then removed from its website.

  • Johnson had been assured there was room for her in the meeting after checking with the district communications department earlier in the day, according to the Iowa Association of Black Journalists.
  • But when she arrived, she was not allowed to enter. Later, the school district attorney told her she would have to wait to get in and that she was “noisy,” she shared on Twitter.

What she says: “Shame on Ankeny for trying to keep a black journalist out of the room at a meeting that was literally about diversity, equity and inclusion. I hope no journalist ever feels the pain and the embarrassment I felt tonight,” Johnson shared.

The other side: The Ankeny School District said in a statement there was an “unexpected” number of attendees and more than 50 people were waiting to enter. The room capacity was 35.

  • “Unfortunately, our members of the media have expressed an experience we would not wish for anyone attending a council meeting,” district officials wrote.

Between the lines: Johnson felt that being called “loud” was a code phrase and is “often used to describe black people who dare to speak out,” according to the IABJ.

  • The district has yet to respond to Axios’ request for comment on the sentence.

To note : Johnson shared Tuesday that the Ankeny School District apologized to him in a private meeting.

And after: The district said it would set aside space for journalists in the future and was looking for larger premises for more interesting meetings.

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