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Thursday, March 25, 2021

DCPS has a total failure of leadership

 I have had many issues with district leaders over the years, but I never could have imagined one would be the distrct siding with a racist who said Jesus supported slavery over a teacher who fought for social justice.

From the Times Union,

Donofrio would live-stream the public comments at the school's community meetings. 

It showed mostly older white adults making questionable comments and shaking their heads as students spoke in support of the name change. In one segment, a white man was captured flipping the camera off during the meeting. 

Some of the footage went viral, including a portion from Joey Stevens — an alumnus who said Jesus supported slavery. 

As first reported by News4Jax, Stevens took to Facebook Monday night, attacking Donofrio with screenshots of Donofrio's classroom and her Black Lives Matter flag from her social media accounts and imploring his followers to contact Lee High School administrators about her. 

"This is the kind of teachers we have, pushing their political agenda on students," Stevens wrote on Facebook. "If this offends you, speak up."

Um, but having a school named after a slaver and a racist doesn't offend you?

This process has been an utter failure of leadership by the superintendent and school board.

I spoke last June at a school board meeting, basically saying the standard for naming a school can't be somebody never did anything wrong, but it could be they aren't named after, slavers, racists, and traitors. How it is ten months later, and we are still fighting over this is an absolute failure of leadership.

Absolute versus utter, sigh.

The board could have made the decision on its own, or if they wanted to involve the community, they could have had several meetings last summer and cleaned it all up, but no, they decided to muddy the waters by adding Jackson High school and both Ribault schools to the conversation and to turn what should be a simple decision into a year-long ordeal.

 So fast forward to the last few weeks when the racists on parade have been willing to make their positions quite clear, and the district, instead of putting an end to the charade, doubles down on its ineptitude by suspending one of the most visual teachers for changing the names of the schools named after confederate era figures. 

Instead of sticking up for Ms. Donofrio against the parade of racists, it suspends her.

I have often written that when the district finds itself in a hole, its first instinct is to keep digging, and this isn't just more of the same, it's worse because it didn't have to be this way.

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