Letter – Proof is needed to back up superintendent’s racism claims

Published 4:30 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2023

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Ah, well, here we go again. 

A couple of years ago the (then) chairperson of Suffolk Public Schools Dr. Brooks-Buck made a public statement that White people “took offense of the racial and gender makeup of the school board.” Brooks-Buck clearly violated School Board policy by making the statement in her capacity as the chair without clearly stating the remarks were “her opinion” as required by policy that she herself passed. She never provided any facts to back that statement, and she was never held to account for the statement. 

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Now we have a superintendent of schools that in his official capacity using the same language that any criticisms of his actions or the performance of the schools is all based on race. He makes this statement with absolutely no facts to substantiate his claim. The News-Herald published these remarks without any due diligence to those remarks. 

For example, “There’s certain political organizations that at the beginning of their organizational meeting, the very first agenda item is Suffolk Public Schools, and who’s going to speak at the School Board meeting, and here are the talking points that we want you to say so that people will believe that the school division is terrible.”

What a ridiculous and reckless statement to make. Here is a question: Where is the proof of this? Because he says so? The superintendent of schools just charged “certain political organization” (plural) of racism. What political organization? Where is the proof? And where is the challenge by the News-Herald that proves these audacious claims? 

The only proof of any collusion to make a race bait statement is provided in Dr. Gordons very own words, “When we had Linda Johnson, the former mayor, speak at the School Board meeting, do you know that those same individuals are now attacking her?”

Time out. So, the super brought in the ex-mayor to make racially charged accusations at the last school board meeting? And now he is using her statement as proof? He did this as he is making accusations of collusion of “political groups?” The reporter that typed up this story did not challenge those remarks? Talk about collusion and hypocrisy.

Racism at its roots needs to be eliminated. I think we can all agree to that. We can best stop that by eliminating those that practice the language of bigotry in their official capacity and by ignoring those that endorse the message by recklessly publishing the race baiting that it is. 

The good Dr. Gordon truly wants everyone to “get along,” then he needs to stop with the ignorance of calling anybody attacking the SPS system as racist and address the accreditation issue facing the school system. Maybe then people will stop challenging his leadership.

Travis McKinney