The Paducah-McCracken County NAACP chapter met with Paducah Public Schools Superintendent Donald Shively after a photo surfaced last week of him in blackface.
Shively claims the photo — which depicts him with a darkened complexion, wearing a do-rag and Paducah Tilghman Football shirt — was taken in 2002 at a Halloween party.
The local NAACP chapter called for Shively’s resignation in the immediate aftermath of the photo’s coming to light last week.
NAACP leadership and concerned community members participated in a private meeting with the superintendent Tuesday afternoon at the Paducah Innovation Hub.
The goal of the meeting, Shively wrote in a letter to the school district’s parents on Monday, was to use the meeting to create “an action plan for our school district developed through critical conversations with every stakeholder to ensure everyone’s voice is heard.”
Paducah-McCracken County NAACP President J.W. Cleary sent a statement to the Sun Tuesday evening detailing his takeaway on the two-hour meeting:
“Our stance has not changed, we are still calling for the resignation of the superintendent,” Cleary wrote. “During the course of the meeting Dr. Shively gave no indication that he intends to resign.
“We have requested to meet with members of the Board of Education as soon as possible to discuss the matter further.”
Amina Watkins, the parent representative at the meeting, echoed calls for Shively’s resignation in a conversation with WPSD Local 6. She pushed to be a part of the meeting with the NAACP in order to address Shively on behalf of several concerned parents in the school district.
“It’s not just a race issue for the group that was there, especially for the NAACP and for myself, it’s more of a human issue,” Watkins said. “We’re in this situation now where our children are angry. We have teachers and the students who have lost trust in his capabilities of being superintendent, and being an educator to them.”