Associated Press Published

Student Allowed to Read Poem, State Officials Cite Miscommunication on Prior Denial


State officials blame miscommunication for denying a student’s plan to recite a poem about the Upper Big Branch mine explosion at a state event.
Hurricane High School student Grace Pritt selected “Black Diamonds” by Crystal Good to recite at the Governor’s Arts Awards on Thursday in Charleston.
A grant coordinator with the Division of Culture and History sent an email to Pritt telling her that she couldn’t read the poem because it dealt with coal, and state representatives would be attending the event.
The division drew criticism after an image of the email appeared on social media sites.
Culture and History deputy commissioner Caryn Gresham says the incident was a miscommunication. She says Pritt will be allowed to recite the poem.