UPDATE: Grand Ledge Super releases statement after parents call for resignation
People in Eaton County are calling on the superintendent of Grand Ledge Public Schools to resign.
It's because of a Facebook comment Brian Metcalf made about George Floyd, who was killed last week by Minneapolis police, sparking riots across the country.
"I wouldn't say surprised because of my experience thus far," said Grand Ledge parent Heather Schmitman.
Dozens of people showed up to protest outside the Grand Ledge Public Schools administration offices calling on superintendent Brian Metcalf to resign.
This is after he posted a Facebook comment Sunday saying George Floyd should have been following the law to avoid conflict with police.
Schmitman said those comments explain why her second-grader wanted to change schools.
"It got to a point where he came home asking me if he could change schools because he felt a lot of his peers were indeed racist," she said.
Grand Ledge High School alum Abby Wilcox said the post shows it's time for a change in leadership.
"Being responsible for our kids, he should not have those ideals he should not be publicizing those ideals, we need to do better," said Wilcox.
In a letter to parents Monday, Metcalf says the Facebook comment was taken out of context.
Metcalf said what happened to George Floyd was wrong and the officer should face trial.
He goes on to say burning businesses, breaking windows, and looting is also wrong, and the violence and criminal activity need to stop.
But Wilcox said that letter isn't enough.
"Apologize. don't double down. now's not the time for that," she said.
Parents said they plan to bring up Metcalf's Facebook comment at its next meeting.
You can read Metcalf's letter to parents below.
On Tuesday, Metcalf released a statement on Facebook, apologizing for the comment he made:
"To Students, Parents, and the Grand Ledge Community,
This past weekend, I posted a statement on FB.
I am deeply sorry for the statement that I posted. As the leader of a school district that seeks to encourage diversity and be welcoming to all, my words fell far short. I did not take into account the historic inequities that have characterized race relations in our nation for generations – and for that, I am sincerely sorry!
I have informed the board that I plan on enrolling in a diversity and/or cultural awareness and sensitivity class to help me grow so that I may better respond in the future.
For future planning, I know that I have learned from this. I look forward to hearing from those in the community that have expressed concern, and listening to them, and to become a better leader by reflecting on my actions.
Brian L. Metcalf, Ph.D / Superintendent of Schools"
You can view a PDF of his letter attached to this article.
The Grand Ledge Board of Education also released a statement:
"To the Grand Ledge Community from the GLPS Board of Education
We have heard your voices and read your emails. Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns. We value your input.
We are deeply concerned about the statement posted by Superintendent Metcalf. There is no place for it among the leaders in Grand Ledge schools, who are expected to value diversity and inclusion.
However, we do not believe the statement reflects his capability to learn and grow from this matter. Superintendent Metcalf has apologized and informed the Board that he will be taking sensitivity training. We will be monitoring the situation closely. We will be putting a letter of concern into his personnel file. And we will be watching to see that he has a chance to grow and learn from this experience.
If there are further instances of this nature, the board reserves the right to take further action.
You can view their letter attached to this article.