The school board needs to be a positive example for students, said School Board Chairman Hillary Douglas on Tuesday as he made clear the circumstances of a fit by one school board member that led to reports last weeks of threats and profanity targeted at district Superintendent Nancy McGinley.
Board Member Arthur Ravenel allegedly threatened McGinley’s job. It was also alleged that he claimed he had gotten rid of “one bitch” (presumably Maria Goodloe-Johnson) and he’d git rid of another.
Ravenel, who did not attend Tuesday’s meeting, first claimed he didn’t use the word. He later admitted to it (though he says he can’t remember the context and says that he never threatened McGinley’s job). Douglas made it clear that the comment was made and that it wouldn’t be tolerated.
“The facts are well established and documented,” Douglas says. “He did this not once, but twice. … We do not push individual agendas, nor will we accept the usage of threats or profanities from anyone.
” We absolutely reject this kind of threatening and discriminatory language,” he went on. “It sets us back, not forward, and sends the wrong message — especially to women — about the importance of treating everyone with respect.”
While Douglas said he hoped the door was closed on the issue, local education activist, Jon Butzon told board members during public comments said more needs to be said, preferably when Ravenel shows up for work.
“I don’t think the door is closed,” Butzon said. “I don’t think this matter is over by a long shot.”