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Official apologizes for Facebook post

MORRIS – Nettle Creek Superintendent Donald McKinney has sent a letter to district parents admitting and apologizing for language he used in a post on his personal Facebook page.

The letter to the families of Nettle Creek students was dated April 17, just a few days after the April 14 board member that attracted about 40 parents, teachers and taxpayers.

One of the issues discussed at that board meeting included an anonymous letter, which encouraged people to attend the meeting, alleging that McKinney had been “wreaking havoc, morally & ethically,” since arriving at the school.

The letter included a partial Facebook post, now confirmed through the letter as being McKinney’s page, from Dec. 3, 2013, where the writer derided organized sports in schools.

“It was totally my decision to write the [apology] letter,” McKinney said. “I haven’t had anything but positive response from it. I hope it was received in the spirit it was sent.”

The letter, which is addressed to Nettle Creek families, states: “I want to take this time to address the Facebook post that was culled from my personal Facebook page and then sent to all Nettle Creek families. I first want to, without reservation, apologize for the language that I chose to use in the Facebook post.”

Angie Greve, a parent who spoke out about the Facebook post during the board meeting, said Wednesday she thinks the letter as an apology is OK.

“I’m kind of torn about the letter. It’s nice, but at the same time, as a parent, I don’t feel there is any closure,” Greve said. “I don’t know how the board addressed this issue.”

The comments at the board meeting were heard during closed session, with each concerned person speaking to the board in a closed classroom.

The school board took no action regarding the issue after the closed session.

School board member and parent Mark Padovano said there were results from the meeting, but had no comment about what happened during closed session.

“I think, as a parent, I was concerned about the comments, but I also know that processes are in place to deal with issues,” Padovano said. “The board is representing the families as much as it can.”

He said he liked the fact that McKinney sent the letter to all the parents to keep the community informed and also keep lines of communication open.

“There is no reason for everyone to be divided,” Padovano said.

Greve said the children are taught at Nettle Creek to be conscious of what they put on social media.

“If we hold the kids to these standards, we have to be good role models,” she said.

McKinney also said in his letter that moving forward, he hopes the families can trust that he has learned from this experience and will continue to work to keep the trust of those who supported him and earn back the trust of those whose trust he lost due to the situation.

A call to John Skrapits, board president, was not immediately returned Wednesday.

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