The head of the Hazelwood School District is under fire after posting what some parents call racially charged remarks on social media.
It comes after more than a month of tense budget discussions over cuts.
Dr. Ingrid Clark-Jackson has been the interim superintendent since 2015. On March 2 she posted on her personal Facebook page, referring to the hate group the KKK.
The post was in response to a former student who offered to support her amidst a budget crisis and calls for her resignation.
“I appreciate all the support. That is what gets me through the day knowing that y’all will come to shut these KKKowards down!!!” the post from Dr. Ingrid Clark Jackson said.
Rebecca Akers is a mother of five in the Hazelwood District and has been one of the parents vocal against the district’s budget cuts.
“It’s definitely about us, and for her speaking about the parents that way and the people in our community, it’s unacceptable,” said Akers.
News 4 forwarded the Facebook post to the Kimberly McKenzie, the district spokesperson, and asked for an explanation from Dr. Clark-Jackson. Instead, the district sent a statement that read in full:“We respect our employees' first amendment rights when they use their personal devices and/or personal social media pages during non-work hours, as long as it does not violate FERPA, any laws or district policy."In February, the district sent the following email to teachers and staff reminding them to be careful of what they post on social media:“It has been brought to our attention that several employees are expressing negative comments, concerns and are even defaming our Board, Administrators and our school district on social media. Please take a minute to review the Hazelwood School District policies on public information and technology usage.”McKenzie said they forwarded the Facebook post to human resources, but at this point, the district does not believe it violates district policies.
Dr. Clark-Jackson is serving as interim superintendent until the end of the current school year. The district is supposed to announce a permanent replacement sometime in April.
Below is the district's policy:
The Hazelwood School District recognizes that Board members and employees have regular contact with students, parents/guardians and the public in general. When interacting with the public, all District employees and Board members are responsible for communicating accurate information about District policies and programs and promoting effective school-home-community partnerships.
In all communications, the Board and its employees will:
1. Disseminate accurate and timely information about district policies, programs, procedures, achievements, decisions and critical issues.
2. Eliminate rumors and misinformation.
3. Observe confidentiality and other restrictions imposed by law and Board policy.
4. Promote a climate of trust.
Violations of Technology Usage Policies and Procedures
Use of technology resources in a disruptive, inappropriate or illegal manner impairs the district’s mission, squanders resources and shall not be tolerated. Therefore, a consistently high level of personal responsibility is expected of all users granted access to the district’s technology resources. Any violation of district policies or procedures regarding technology usage may result in temporary, long-term or permanent suspension of user privileges. User privileges may be suspended pending investigation into the use of the district’s technology resources.
News 4 will continue to seek an interview with the interim superintendent on her Facebook comments.
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