During public comment at an Oklahoma City Public School (OKCPS) board meeting, parents of John Rex Charter Elementary School (JRCES) parents sounded off in response to the offensive comments Kirk Humphreys made about homosexuality on a local talk show last month.
Humphreys is a member of the board of directors for the charter school.
“The leaders of our schools should set a tone of inclusivity and respect for others,” said Terra Bonnell.
“We have spent hours sorting through our emotions, our fears and our thoughts,” another speaker said.
Several parents called for his resignation from the board of directors at JRCES.
“I don’t believe that he’s any longer able to carry out the mission that our school has set forth for itself,” said parent Chris Kavanaugh.
According to an attorney who spoke at the meeting, the partnering non-profit, OKC Quality Schools, chooses six members for the JRCES board. The OKCPS district chooses another six members and those 12 members elect three more. JRCES’s sponsor, the University of Oklahoma, can also appoint two non-voting members. Kirk Humphreys is one of those two.
Other parents at the meeting said they do not support his initial comments, but they said they support his continued role on the JRCES board.
Humphreys sent out this statement:
I love John Rex and have worked hard to contribute to making it the school it is today. John Rex serves a diverse and inclusive community, and I am proud of the role I have had in helping make that a reality. I regret that I failed to communicate my beliefs graciously and I have apologized to those I have hurt. I am grateful that this past week the community has responded in a understanding way, showing support for my service and encouraging me to continue on the John Rex Board.
The following statement by Dr. Joe Pierce, Head of School, was shared a few weeks ago with JRCES families:
John W. Rex Charter Elementary School is proud to offer a supportive and inclusive environment for students and families with many different backgrounds, ethnicities and opinions. The views expressed by individual board members are their personal opinions. We have always and will always welcome students based solely on our attendance boundary zone and four-tiered priority enrollment system.
In December, Humphreys resigned from his role as a member of the OU Board of Regents.