Cape students ask officials to cancel Don McLean concert
<?EM-dummyText [Drophead goes here] ?>
A group of Cape Cod students working against domestic violence are calling for officials to cancel a Don McLean concert set for April in Hyannis.
Student presidents from the Mentors in Violence Prevention program at several high schools penned a letter to the Barnstable public schools superintendent to block McLean, who has been accused of domestic violence against his wife.
McLean is known for his 1971 song "American Pie."
"We believe Mr. McLean is a bad role model," the students wrote. "We believe his appearance . . . on Cape Cod would be a mistake. We believe payment to Mr. McLean for his entertainment enables him to continue a lifestyle we do not agree with."
The show is scheduled for April 24 at the Barnstable Performing Arts Center, located inside Barnstable High School in Hyannis.
McLean was arrested on Jan. 18 in Camden, Maine, where he lives, said Camden police Lieutenant Michael Geary.
The entertainer pleaded not guilty to six charges, including domestic violence, criminal threatening, criminal restraint, criminal mischief, and obstruction of the reporting of a crime, said Assistant District Attorney Chris Fernald, from Knox County in Maine.
Lysetta Hurge-Putnam, executive director of the nonprofit Independence House, said the organization oversees the mentor program at the high schools.
The students decided to write the letter on their own, she said, and the organization supports their efforts.
"These are the things they are learning about and something that their peers might have experienced," she said. "They're making the choice and understand that they can start to change social norms. Normally someone like this who has been accused of sexual violence in the past may have gone unnoticed by students in the past . . . but now they can show their concerns."
MVP students have taken part in efforts in the community, Hurge-Putnam said, but this is the first time they have focused on a specific issue.
"What I would say is that these students are change drivers," she said. "They are very brave and what they are doing will show very strong support for survivors in this community and hopefully pave the way for fundamental change of the way people see domestic violence, sex assault, dating violence, and think about what messages are sent to survivors."