BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) – The superintendent of Bristol Virginia Public Schools has responded to comments made by the school board chairman on Facebook.
In a letter, Superintendent Keith Perrigan said the comments made by Bristol Virginia School Board Chairman Steve Fletcher are not a representation of the school district.
“In response to recent comments on Facebook by Bristol Virginia School Board Chairman, Steve Fletcher, I would like to make clear to the students, parents and citizens of our community that these comments do not represent the beliefs, vision and ideals of Bristol Virginia Public Schools and were not made in Mr. Fletcher’s capacity as Board Chairman.”Dr. Keith Perrigan, BVPS Superintendent
Perrigan said in the letter that BVPS is dedicated to providing an inclusive environment.
“Being the most diverse school division in Southwest Virginia, we understand the importance of creating an equitable environment for students of all colors, creeds, ethnicities, religions, and backgrounds,” Perrigan wrote.
Fletcher’s comments on a Facebook post led to the creation of a petition that demands his resignation as school board chair.
The petition is found on Change.org and says Fletcher “recently made demeaning and inflammatory comments toward constituents in his district.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, there were 177 signatures on the petition.
The link to the petition was shared by the Future Black Leaders Coalition Facebook group on Sunday morning.
The FBLC also posted screenshots of the exchange on Facebook, which originated after comments were made by Fletcher on a shared post of a political illustration related to the recent shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
According to the letter from Perrigan, the school board recently approved goals for the upcoming school year that include increasing focus on providing resources for students of all backgrounds and investigating ways to attract and hire a more diverse faculty and staff.
To achieve those goals, Perrigan says a focus group and student advisory team will be created to address diversity and equality.
School personnel will also be instructed to embed examples of the positive impact of Black Americans and other races upon the United States.
You can read Perrigan’s full letter to the BVPS community below: