"Actions driven by hate, not love, have no place at Central High School. I believe that the vast majority of our community share my commitment to that ideal. To all of you, but especially our African American students and staff who for too long have been the target of this type of hate speech-- I am deeply sorry that this happened today. Understanding respect and love need to be our guideposts. Students, please know that we are here to support you and thanks for your attention." --Superintendent, Keith Marty, Nov 15, 2017, Board Of Education meeting
One week later, some parents quietly learned through word of mouth that the event was a hoax. This was confirmed by local media.
Principal Tim McCarthy and Superintendent Marty made the statement to the Parkway School Board of Education Directors just hours after the graffiti was discovered and before a full investigation could be made. Such actions were reckless, hasty, and morally and ethically wrong. Nevertheless, it was an opportunity for Marty's leadership team to make a political statement by shaming white Central High girls for intolerance.
It backfired spectacularly when it became clear that a "non-white" student was responsible.
While the incident was being investigated, Dr. Keith Marty summoned local news cameras such as CBS-St. Louis and KMOV to the Parkway BOE meeting (coincidentally scheduled for that same evening) to issue a statement apologizing to the African American community and shaming white students in the process. Perhaps even more startling is that local news teams could (within hours) push the message in their evening coverage. Several citizens who widely support the district's million dollar social justice expenses were conveniently available that same night to give Citizen Statements damning students who had yet to be proven guilty.
When administrators use falsified incidents to jump to conclusions and therefore shame one ethnic group over another in a rush to judgment, they are as guilty of racist comments as the students they say need disciplining. The immediate and swift rush to judgment, leading to a verbal lynching of the entire white female population of Parkway Central was needlessly marginalizing and immature on the part of adult professional administrators.
How Parkway Parents and Voters Discovered the Truth
On November 21, 2017, four days after the incident and after the media statement by the district, Parkway Central High students and parents were given a bit more information: "Our investigation into this incident led to a Central High student admitting to writing the message. The actions of this student are a violation of our discipline code and the student will be held accountable within the parameters of the district's discipline policy." Readers, take notice: the local media reported hours later (from Parkway School District's media representative) what Parkway withheld from parents-- the student who admitted guilt is black and female. According to students at the high school where this took place-- who claim to have known the perpetrator's identity before the school day was even over-- said she wrote it in order to "get white girls in trouble." Importantly, this statement was not made to the media or district wide. It targeted Central High.
Marty is not one to let a good crisis go to waste, however. It benefitted the Parkway administration to let the community continue to assume that a white student committed the racist act so that it would justify the millions of dollars Parkway spends on social justice and character education curriculum. Marty and his handpicked administrators allowed the non "non-"white Central High students to continue to carry the burden for the racist graffiti. What kind of a leader is willing to sacrifice the character of an entire group of students in such a cowardly way?
Were Administrators' Comments Racist?
The definition of racism is "showing or feeling discrimination or prejudice against people of other races". Was the African-American student being racist against whites by putting them in a false narrative? Was the Parkway Administration being racist by automatically blaming white students before discovering the entire story?
Liberal "White Privilege" ideology and "social justice" training programs have equipped Parkway School District administrators to circumvent the 6th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which says a person is "innocent until proven guilty" by " virtue signaling" their higher moral ground and condemning all white students in that school. This is the direct result of extensive social justice training of all administrators and Parkway parents and students should expect more of the same in the near future.
Educators as Mentors
Great Schools, an information warehouse and national organization empowering parents to bring educational opportunities to students through informed parent advocates, defined the earmarks of a good leader. They include:
- "The superintendent is the CEO of the school district. He or she sets the tone, charts the course of the district, and works closely with the board of trustees."
- "A great superintendent is an effective communicator."
- "A great superintendent is a good listener."
How do Parkway School District's Superintendent and upper administrative leadership measure based on these standards?
Public Relations Fiasco
Sadly, Parkway School District's top leader and educator has not lived up to these and other standards. In fact, quite the opposite has happened. The Marty Administration has hidden behind the remarks of a black student who was attempting to frame and portray the white girls at her school as racist. Quick to shame white students. Marty has yet to apologize to those same students at Parkway Central High and their families. Furthermore, Keith Marty torpedoed Parkway School District by placing it into a public relations fiasco that has circled the world. The follow-up story has been picked up by major US networks, Washington Times, Daily Caller, UK Daily Mail, and dozens of conservative publications. It has been talked about on radio, tweeted, and posted. The comments by readers of even the most liberal of publications recognize the absurdity and irresponsibility of Marty's rush to judgment. When he shamed others, he only shamed himself.
Eventually, Marty had to acknowledge the truth, but he couldn't quite bring himself to apologize. In a statement Tuesday, November 21st, Parkway Superintendent Keith Marty said "we were all surprised and hurt by this." His statement falls far short of the zeal demonstrated earlier at the purported injustice. It minimizes the thoughts and feelings of all students left in limbo of a false accusation. In truth, Dr. Marty's ineffective statement demonstrates his willingness to shield himself behind students, dodging his own personal responsibility and pushing an agenda clearly designed to garner support for Parkway's 2018 $XX bond issue.
The next BOE meeting is on Dec 6. Will Dr. Marty apologize? Will he ensure the same media be present? The community expects to hear an update of his earlier statement from Dr. Keith Marty that should sound something like this:
"Actions driven by hate, not love, have no place at Central High School. I believe that the vast majority of our community share my commitment to that ideal. To all of you, but especially the white female students at Central High School, I want to apologize on behalf of myself and administrators at Parkway Central High who have rushed into judgment regarding a racist action they did not commit-- I am deeply sorry that we failed to set a good example for our community by failing to follow through with our investigation before making our judgment. Understanding respect and love need to be our guideposts. Students, please know that we are here to support you and thanks for your attention."
Until Dr. Marty can understand that HE increased the hurt for the students and their families and HIS BEHAVIOR increased the negative impact experienced by the community, the painful racial division created will remain unresolved. By failing to set the record straight and admitting that he rushed to judgment, he made the situation much worse.
Marty is an adult and professional educator. He is responsible for 17,000 students. He should know better-- and the community should expect better. How can Keith Marty effectively lead when he fails to present himself as an honorable leader?
As valued parents and community members, your opinion counts. Contact the Board of Education members and Superintendent at: