Last Sunday night, Mark Jelks, the principal of White Hall High School in Arkansas, shared an anti-Muslim image on Facebook. The post said “Kick Islam out of America” with a silhouette of a man kicking a star and crescent.
His post has since been taken down (though the original one is still up). But after screenshots began making the rounds, students and community members were left wondering why a principal would ever share an image like that. What message is he sending to Muslims at the school?
So far, the district hasn’t said much of anything, merely saying in a statement that they are “absolutely committed to being an inclusive, respectful, non-discriminatory environment that places the student first. We do not support or endorse statements to the contrary.”
What about the principal?
As this is a personnel matter, the district cannot comment any further.
Jelks’ response to all this was somehow even worse…
Jelks said by phone Friday morning that the post was “a big misunderstanding … A huge misunderstanding.”
“It offended a lot of people I had no intention of hurting,” he said.
Jelks declined to say how the post ended up on his Facebook page and said he planned to detail what happened later in the day after talking to his attorney.
What’s the misunderstanding? Did a baby accidentally click on his computer and share that post? Even if we’re talking about an accidental click, Jelks was still looking at that page. There’s a lot that has to happen for that image to appear on his personal feed.
Which means a lot of students are left with no explanation about what happened and a principal they can’t fully trust.
For now, the Council on America-Islamic Relations is calling for the state to investigate the matter.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)