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NAACP, petition call for superintendent and school board to step down

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PaducahTilghmanHS

PADUCAH, KY (WSIL) -- More than a week after a photo of an educator wearing blackface surfaced, calls for his resignation continue.

On Monday, Louisville resident, and Paducah native, Savvy Shabazz created a petition on Change.org that calls for the Paducah Public School board's resignation along with superintendent Dr. Donald Shively.

Dr. Shively was scrutinized last week after a photo showed him wearing blackface at a Halloween party in 2002. It was later revealed that school officials knew about the photo as early as February 2019.

The school board didn't take any disciplinary action at the time because Dr. Shively came forward about it.

Shabazz called the photo a 'racist act' and said it was 'disrespectful' that Dr. Shively, or any of the board members, haven't offered to resign yet.

"The board knew about this picture a year in advance," Shabazz said. "That trust has been broken within the community."

Tuesday night, Dr. Shively attended a public meeting at Paducah-Tilghman High School where he listened to comments from parents and students. Dr. Shively said it's up to him to begin the discussions.

"These are obviously tough conversations that needed to be had," Dr. Shively said. "It's a conversation that I'm willing to have, and have been having and that dialogue is needed with me."

Dr. Shively says his hope was to create dialogue and develop a plan to help students and the community heal. But Shabazz says Dr. Shively is not the person fit to lead these changes.

"It's unacceptable. It's definitely not acceptable at a time like this with all the civil unrest that's going on in America," Shabazz said.

Meanwhile, the Paducah branch of the NAACP issued a statement maintaining its position on its calls for Dr. Shively and the school board to resign.

Danny Valle

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