Anchorage Schools Superintendent Jharrett Bryantt

While Anchorage School District Superintendent Jharrett Bryantt has inexplicably prohibited famed brain surgeon and national educational advocate Dr. Ben Carson from visiting Mountain View Elementary School, Carson is planning to visit some private schools in town, as well as a public school in the more accommodating Mat-Su District.

The former secretary of the U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development under President Trump, Carson was also a prominent Republican presidential candidate in 2016. He is coming to Alaska for a couple of fundraisers for the Anchorage Republican Women’s Club, but also planned to visit several other locations as well.

At the Aug. 17 Anchorage School Board meeting, conservative board member Dave Donley asked Bryantt why he blocked Carson’s scheduled visit with local elementary students.

“What board policy was the basis of you denial of former U.S. cabinet secretary Dr. Ben Carson speaking at Mountain View School?” he asked.

“Sure. That’s a great question member Donley,” Bryantt responded. “There’s not a specific policy, uh, it’s within the, uh, authority of the superintendent to make that call.”

Bryantt offered no other rationale, other than to say he “respectfully declined the invitation” to have Carson visit the school.

Donley pressed a bit further.

“So, if Vice President Harris was in town, and she did a fundraiser for the Democrat Bartlett Club, would you not let her speak at one of our schools if she wanted to?” he asked.

Bryantt deflected.

President George W. Bush presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Dr. Ben Carson in 2008 for his work with neurological disorders.

“That’s not a situation that I’ve encountered, but these situations are case-by-case, and this isn’t necessarily a partisan thing,” he claimed. “This is really about protocols and just keeping the focus on what it needs to be, which is back-to-school and safety.”

An organizer helping facilitate Carson’s visit said he is now planning to visit two private Christian schools in Anchorage, as well as a public school in the Mat-Su.

Superintendent Bryantt’s rejection of Dr. Carson appears to run contrary to some of the goals he claims to have for public schools. In particular, he promotes the idea that schools should be institutions that prepare students to be “engaged, productive members of our culturally rich community” by offering “real world experiences” to prepare students for life, college and careers.

Carson seems to be just the type of person Bryantt would want students to encounter.

In addition to his public service, Dr. Carson directed pediatric neurosurgery at John Hopkins Children’s Center for three decades. He assumed that post at age 33, becoming the youngest major division director in the hospital’s history. Since then, he has received myriad honors and awards for his achievements, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. He also founded, and chairs, the American Cornerstone Institute, which is described as a “think-tank-do-tank.”


— Click here to contact Anchorage Superintendent Jharrett Bryantt.

— Click here to contact members of the Anchorage School Board.

— For specific information on Carson’s upcoming events in Anchorage next week, click here.

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Anchorage Superintendent inexplicably disinvites Medal of Freedom honoree Dr. Ben Carson

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Neil says:

    It sounds like more Democratic control. .No reason to not let him tslk only it doesn’t fit the agenda so no he couldn’t talk. If V.P. Harris was there we both know she would of got tge green light to go down, and talk.

  • Elizabeth Henry says:

    The superintendent really needs to be replaced. How in the world did he even fill the position? Stunning. This seems more a personal vendetta against actual integrity and work ethic and it is Bryantt making it a “bipartisan’ situation. His snub indicates he could care less about encouraging students to strive, work hard, and achieve and is really only concerned about keeping them dependent upon government.

  • Lucinda says:

    Bryantt is not obligated to invite Carson. But it would be helpful if there were criteria for what kind of speaker would be invited to a government funded facility. For example: Kanye West, a leader of the Oath Keepers, the ED of the Sierra Club, a climate change denier, a climate change believer, Kyle Rittenhouse? But it should still be a case-by-case decision.

    • B says:

      Lucinda the narcissist. “Case-by-case decision.” That is censorship.

    • Proud Alaskan says:

      But it’s ok to bring Drag Queens to school?
      Lucinda, crawl back under your rock or your cryroom-safe space.

      • KKirk says:

        could any of you tell that Lucinda was NOT agreeing with the disinvite or the superintendent? She was saying yes…he does have that right, BUT who would he consider okay to invite? She is pointing out the fact that the superintendent was being very much politically partisan. Good grief.

    • Steve says:

      Lucinda, did you read the article??? Little man Jharrett Bryantt blocked Dr. Carlson’s scheduled visits. The operative word is scheduled, which means his visit was blocked. Where did you come up with “Bryantt is not obligated to invite Carson”, he was already invited. Lucinda you just proved to me and many others that twisting of words is your game. Little man Jharrett Bryantt is a small time petty politician that has no business hold the position of Anchorage School District Superintendent. Little man Jarrett Bryantt couldn’t hold a candle to Dr. Carlson’s accomplishment, nor his humanities.

  • Tamra Nygaard says:

    Bryantt is afraid that if he invites minorities who have done well in life, he won’t be able to sell them on their victimhood, which about all that gets taught in public schools these days. The idea the someone who isn’t white can succeed on their own initiative is apparently anathema to Bryantt, who was an obvious Affirmative Action hire, and has never had the qualifications to become School Superintendent.

    • Adron Lewis says:

      Why should we want a professional minority person with numerous qualifications and awards ?
      Give an aspiring speech to children.
      When you can hear from numerous drag queens.

    • Jody Zylstra says:

      His qualifications include degrees in 1619 Project History and Gender Studies, and amateur impersonations of Peewee Herman. Who could ask for more?

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    This is a sad situation and needs to be another front-and-center topic to talk to kids about. Here is what the first paragraph of wikipedia states about Dr. Carson: ‘Benjamin Solomon Carson Sr. (born September 18, 1951) is an American retired neurosurgeon, academic, author, and politician who served as the 17th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 2017 to 2021. A pioneer in the field of neurosurgery, he was a candidate for President of the United States in the 2016 Republican primaries. Carson is one of the most prominent Black conservatives in America.’
    Sounds like a perfect person to talk to share with student their professional and personal experiences and how they achieved their goals to be successful. How is this undesirable? Cancel culture strikes again and bigly in Alaska.

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    Please stop placing in front of me reasons to be disgusted with our governor! These issues are of course initiated by wicked actors! But for God’s sake dunleavy taking a back seat to every wicked act emboldens these actors! The Chinese communist are playing in the Aleutian Islands! What say you dunleavy? Nothing again! Child sex trafficking! Nothing said! Yes Marsha I’m pissed!

    • Proud Alaskan says:

      dunleavy is standing Small what a joke of a governor we have.

    • Tamra Nygaard says:

      Gosh, I hate to break it to you, but the Russians and the Chinese have always been in and about the Aleutian islands. The number of Air Force intercepts is staggering, and the boats come and go without detection because the ocean is huge. The defense of the Aleutians is in the hands of the US military, not Dunleavy. That’s just how it works.

      • DaveMaxwell says:

        I hate to break it to you Tamra that dunleavy’s silence on everything except carbon flatulence credits is all we Alaskans have in the power seat driving the bus in stupid circles! Got your seat belt on?

  • Johnny says:

    Shameful, for a person in his position he should step down or be removed, this is no way to represent.

  • Flannel says:

    Who is the principal of the Mountain View school who invited Carson in the first place? It gives me hope for ASD simply that Carson was invited in the first place!

  • Concerned Citizen says:

    Typical of public schools these days. This superintendent is a “joke” for not allowing Ben Carson to speak. Has definite overtones of racism to me. Success be damned if you belong to the wrong political party.

  • KKirk says:

    Looks like the superintendent caved to pressure from the little fascists in Anchorage. He was probably threatened with his job if he didn’t rescind the invitation. Figures….cowards…the whole lot of them!

  • Kaleb says:

    Knowing Dr Carson’s history of where he came from to become a world renowned nuro surgeon I would think EVERYONE at ANY school would be proud to have him come and speak. Read the book Gifted Hands or watch the movie of the same title. Dr Carson rose from the projects to become what he has. Much due to his mother requiring him to read even though she did not have a full education. WOW any superintendent or education official who chooses to un invite this man has no clue about education.

  • Alaskan says:

    This Anchorage school board talking head uses all the scripted words and inflections of a true Anchorage Democrat. His political career looks bright.