At board meeting, parents defend Fox District staff in controversial photo

6 of the 8 women in the photo are district employees. Not all are teachers and the woman carrying the controversial sign does not work for the district. Credit (Facebook/JeffCo411)

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. ( -- The superintendent of the Fox C-6 School District apologized for a controversial photo that shows several district staff members at the Women's March on St. Louis Saturday, but at a school board meeting Tuesday, several parents said those in the photo shouldn't be punished.

Dr. Jim Wipke told News 4, "I apologize that this has become such a distraction away from our kids and it's being used as a divisive tool in our community."

Six of the eight women in the photo are Fox district employees. The women are holding two signs, one of which contains words that many consider vulgar. However, the person holding the controversial sign does not work for the district, Wipke said.

(We've edited the picture as some viewers might find the words offensive in the context they are presented)

One parent who spoke to News 4 Tuesday afternoon said the teachers in the photo should have used better judgment.

"I think as teachers, being part of this community, they do not need to be so vulgar," said Rachel Bradley, the parent of three students in the district. She added that the teachers should have known better. "I mean if my daughter did that, she would have been expelled from school."

Others have been critical on social media.

The photo was apparently posted by one of the staff members on her Facebook page and then shared by many others.

However, parents who spoke at a school board meeting Tuesday night said they support the teachers and feel they shouldn't be punished.

Wipke said the signs in the photo violated the district policy on staff conduct but couldn't say whether the employees would be disciplined or how.

"The posters were not in good taste that they held and when you're in the public eye, you have to take that into consideration, especially when you put something out on social media," said Wipke.

Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

News 4 Reporter

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