Grand Ledge superintendent faces backlash after commenting on death of George Floyd | Michigan Radio
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Grand Ledge superintendent faces backlash after commenting on death of George Floyd

Jun 4, 2020

Grand Ledge Superintendent Brian Metcalf
Credit Grand Ledge Schools

The superintendent of Grand Ledge Public Schools is apologizing for an online message about the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis.

Superintendent Brian Metcalf’s post said Floyd’s death was wrong, but also criticized Floyd’s actions leading up to his death.

Metcalf commented on a post about the Grand Rapids protests by the school district's communications director, writing:

"Burning, breaking windows, and looting is also an injustice -- what happened to Floyd was wrong! A criminal response is also wrong. Any statement otherwise, condones and perpetuates both criminal acts!!

...it all starts with being a law abiding citizen - had he not paid with counterfeit money, had he not resisted, had he not been under the influence -- then there would be no contact with officers; that does not excuse the officer; it just eliminates the conflict to begin with!! It starts with being a good citizen!"

Metcalf has issued a letter of apology, and insists his comments were taken out of context.

Some residents have protested and are calling for his resignation.

Tamela Jones is the mother of two Grand Ledge graduates and the grandmother of a first-grader in the district.

“His letter that he put out indicated that he was apologetic, that he wanted to learn. The problem is, he’s had a decade to learn. He’s had a decade to make things right. He’s had a decade to better himself, to better the community, to better the environment for his students.”

Metcalf has not yet responded to a request for comment.

The Grand Ledge school board will host a special meeting Friday morning to talk about the issue.

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