Uproar after Youngstown teacher posts about killed 10-year-old girl on social media

Local News

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – After the deadly shooting of a 10-year-old girl, there was a big response when a teacher for Youngstown City Schools posted a message on social media about Persayus Davis-May, with some calling for the teacher to be fired.

In the post, she talked about the little girl who she said was a former student.

“I am so angry and sad at the same time. This baby was not my brightest but she was our caregiver and protector. She struggled with all academics but could count money like it was her job,” the teacher wrote in the post.

The girl’s godmother, Tayana Smith, was shocked over what the teacher said.

“I’m not sure what her angle was, or what her objective was of posting something like that. Posting that she’s praying or asking the community to pray for us, we appreciate that. But then she led into how she fell asleep in class and she wasn’t a bright student. That was just very disheartening, especially at a time when we are still grieving the loss,” Smith said.

Youngstown City Schools said the incident doesn’t rise to the level of disciplinary action and they would strongly discourage their employees from engaging in this type of behavior.

In a statement Thursday night, Board of Education President Ronald Shadd issued the following statement:

“Our hearts are broken over this tragic event that led to the death of Persayus Davis-May. As a lifelong citizen of Youngstown whose family has also been irreversibly impacted by gun violence, I urge everyone to embrace and share the message to ‘stop the violence.’

“In response to comments of Persayus Davis-May’s death by a Youngstown City School District employee on social media, as your Board of Education President, I regret that the pain many are feeling was compounded by comments of an insensitive nature. Although the Board currently has no authority to manage the District or to judge personnel conduct, as a board member I expect personnel of the District to maintain high standards and always conduct themselves professionally for the benefit of our students. I believe the Board would concur with me that action should be taken to conduct sensitivity and diversity, equity and inclusion training for all staff and faculty. 

“It is evident that our Academic Improvement Plan must not only address student performance but culture and climate for our students, family and employees. Now is the time for Youngstown to stand in solidarity with Youngstown’s Stop the Violence movement.”

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