Shively Discussed at Board of Education Meeting
By Easton Sanders
PADUCAH - At a special called meeting on Monday, the Paducah Public Schools Board of Education discussed the recent events surrounding Superintendent Donald Shively.

The meeting revolved around the recently surfaced 2002 photo of Shively dressed in blackface.

Several residents joined the meeting virtually to either show support for Shively or to share their frustration. 

Following public comments, Shively provided a statement to those attending. Shively spoke about the actions he has taken since the photo came to light and shared his appreciation for those that have accepted his apology. He also encouraged those that do support him to refrain from being critical of those that are still hurting because of the photo.

He said, "I chose to get into education because it's about helping others, and you dedicate your professional life to doing that. Now, with what's happened, what has come to light, the choice that I made, to see how it could hurt people and destroy trusts that you've built, it's just heartbreaking."

"I am personally grateful to the students, employees, parents, and community members who have accepted my apology. I want to say thank you." Shively continued, "Let's not be critical or condescending to those that have shared hurt and anger and don't support my leadership at this time or maybe ever going forward."

In closing, Shively said he is committed to continuing the dialogue for however long is necessary. He once again apologized for the pain, anger, and loss of trust that his actions have caused.

"It's heartbreaking for me as a person, as an educator, to have these conversations but I think they have the potential to help others. I'm going to continue to have this tough dialogue and to listen to what's needed. That's where my heart is." he said.

According to Shively, he has spent nearly 100 hours in conversations about the incident with groups, schools, and students.

Board Chairman Carl LeBuhn thanked the public for the messages the Board has received regarding the incident and shared a statement from the Board.

"The board is listening and we want to make clear that the board wants to take this opportunity to deepen the dialogue on racial equity, and it wants to effectively partner with the community to improve our programs and to improve student achievement." LeBuhn continued, "We want to stress that community partnership is critical for the development and implementation of our equity initiatives. During our scheduled board meeting to follow, we want to start with an initial review of our existing equity programs. We are exploring options for an external review of our district as it pertains to equity and we're also exploring options for technical support and further policy development."

According to LeBuhn, this meeting provides them with their first opportunity as a Board to discuss the recent events and therefore no immediate action was taken.

Following the public portion of the meeting, the Board went into executive session with Shively to discuss the comments they have received.

You can see the meeting in its entirety below.

On the Net:

2002 Photo Shows PPS Superintendent in Blackface

Published 08:50 PM, Tuesday Nov. 17, 2020
Updated 05:53 PM, Wednesday Nov. 18, 2020



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