The following statement was issued as a press release and sent to Scott Kirby, President of American Airlines:


For Immediate Release: April 18, 2016


Media Contact:


Carol Burris 718-577-3276


The Network for Public ​Education (NPE) expresses its outrage about American Airlines’ decision to remove the Reverend Dr. William Barber II from a late night flight from DC to Raleigh. Reverend Barber was removed after a passenger seated behind him made hostile comments.


Reverend Barber is one of the nation’s most eminent civil rights leaders. He is the president of the North Carolina NAACP and founder of the Moral Mondays movement, which leads protests in support of equality and justice. He should have received the same courteous treatment that all passengers expect.


As it happens, he was flying to Raleigh to address our annual convention on Saturday morning. When he arrived late, he did not mention what had happened to him. He spoke eloquently about the necessity of eliminating racism and establishing justice for all.


We call upon American Airlines to issue an official apology to Rev. Barber, reimbursement for any expenses he incurred as a consequence of this unfortunate incident, and to award him Elite Platinum status so he can be sure of being treated with dignity in the future by the staff of American Airlines.


Diane Ravitch, P​resident of NPE, said, “There is little doubt in my view that Reverend Barber was taken off the flight through no fault of his own but because he is a black man. Had I been in his place, I as a white woman would not have been kicked off the flight. American Airlines should show their regrets by apologizing to him and protecting him from future actions of this kind, which reflect poorly on the judgment of AA’s staff at Washington Reagan Airport.”


​Ravitch sent a letter to the President of American Airlines today insisting that Reverend Barber be given the above consideration. ​