Arkansas School Superintendent Replies to Facebook Hater Whistleblower
Letter from Midland School District Superintendent Arrives as Facebook Campaign Tops 52,000 Campaign to get McCance to Resign Goes into Overdrive
Washington - The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today released the letter written by Midland School District Superintendent Dean Stanley to R. Anthony Turner, the whistleblower who unearthed the Facebook posts made by school board member Clint McCance. Turner is a 1998 graduate of Midland High School. The letter, which was emailed by Stanley to Turner at 2:45pm EDT today, was in response to Turner's letter to school district officials bringing this matter to their attention on October 22.
Stanley repudiates McCance's comments and writes that McCance "does not represent the board or speak for the board when he posts on his facebook pageï¾ Those views are not consistent with the views of the school district or the school board."
A Facebook page calling for McCance's resignation has swelled to over 52,000 "likes." The page is at: www.facebook.com/pages/Fire-Clint-McCance/170421922968484.
HRC has placed a full page ad in tomorrow's Batesville Guard - the local newspaper in Independence County - calling on McCance to resign. The ad can be seen here: www.hrcbackstory.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/FireMcCance-ad-BatesvilleGuard.pdf.
Earlier today, HRC president Joe Solmonese also sent a letter to McCance asking him to resign for the sake of the children in his community. A letter was also sent to McCance's colleagues on the school board asking them to join the tens of thousands of people across the country calling for McCance's resignation.
McCance was re-elected in September to a four year term and there is currently no recall process for elected school board members in Arkansas.
Text of the email and letter sent by Midland School Superintendent Dean Stanley to R. Anthony Turner:
I have been out of state but wanted to let you know that I need to respond to the letter you sent me this past week. We obviously have been dealing with the situation for the last few days and wanted to share with you a letter regarding this situation.
Dear Mr. Turner:
I am writing in response to your letter in which you commented on a board member's facebook posting. I am sorry to make your acquaintance under these circumstances but proud Midland was your alma mater and that you care enough about young students to write.
I cannot respond for Mr. McCance. While he is a school board member, he does not represent the board or speak for the board when he posts on his facebook page. I can only assume the views he expressed on facebook, about which you wrote, are his personal views. Those views are not consistent with the views of the school district or the school board. Our board makes known its position on issues by adopting policies and the board has not and would not adopt policies similar to the postings you referenced on facebook. The board's official position, expressed in our mission statement, is that every student is someone special.
As administrator of the school district I have an obligation to care for every student, an obligation to every parent to care for every son or daughter. Every student life is equally valuable without regard to race, sex, or sexual orientation, religious belief or affiliation, without regard to disability, ability, performance or non performance, or whether they want an education or don't. Everyone really is someone special and deserves to be treated with care and respect.
In reference to the remedies you suggested in response to Mr. McCance's postings, there is no recall of school board members. The ballot box is the remedy for patrons that are dissatisfied with a school board member. I can certainly suggest to the board that it affirm its commitment to all students as that commitment is expressed in its mission statement and affirm its commitment to eradicating bullying.
Midland School District - Superintendent
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.