Saturday, February 18, 2012

Local Choir Controversy Gains National Attention

by KREX News Room
by Jordan Sherman

Denver - A story that has sparked heated debate locally over the past few days receives national attention on FOX and Friends, the early show for the FOX network. NewsChannel 5 reporter Matt Kroschel broke the story Tuesday about a Grand Junction High School student who quit choir after his teacher included a song that praised the Islamic god Allah.

On Thursday morning, FOX and Friends producers contacted Matt with an interview request for Friday morning. Matt agreed and set off for Denver shortly after 6:00 PM Thursday night.

Little did we know that on the way to Denver, the story would continue to unfold. Matt received a phone call from James Harper, the student at the center of the controversy, stating that he had received written threats. "Some kids at school sent messages. None of them were direct like, 'I will kick your ass', but one of them said you better not come back. The other said shut your mouth or I'll do something about it."

The threats against Harper only strengthened Matt's resolve to maintain balance in his coverage at the national level.

After a night of nerves and little sleep in Denver, we set out for KDVR FOX at 4:00 AM, and Matt began his live interview at 4:55 AM. The interview lasted around two minutes, but as Matt said, "I think the interview went well. I think we got across the facts of the story we had."

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