The Iowa Standard received a copy of an email that was apparently sent from Johnston superintendent Laura Kacer to staff earlier this week after The Iowa Standard published a story highlighting social media posts from Louis Fountain, the district’s pick as Director of Equity, Inclusion and Belonging.
You can read about those posts, which he had tried to hide by making his Facebook page more private, here.
Here is what Kacer wrote to staff:
“We are aware of an article that was published in The Iowa Standard regarding the hiring of Mr. Louis Fountain as Director of Equity, Inclusion and Belonging for the Johnston Community School District. What follows is a statement we will use as a response to any inquiries and we wanted you to be aware of the District’s position on the issue. If you have any questions, please contact me directly. Thank you.
“Johnston Community School District is committed to creating intentional initiatives to addressed equity and inclusion for all students in the district. The goal of this work is to provide an environment where all learners are taught the skills and provided the same opportunities and access to experiences — all of which will help them reach their full potential.
“As a part of this work, the district has hired a Director of Equity, Inclusion and Belonging to lead this initiative. The board will vote on his appointment at the school board meeting Monday, May 3. The candidate that has been selected has been a vocal advocate for equity, and we recognize that has the potential to cause discomfort. However, a large part of the work to advance equity, inclusion and belonging requires leaning into what makes us uncomfortable. Our goal is to offer a space where conversations can happen in a constructive and respectful manner.
“As we move forward, it is important for all our stakeholders to treat each other with respect, make a true effort to listen to differing views and offer each other grace that will ultimately benefit all students in the district.”
Obviously, Kacer isn’t holding Fountain to the same standards she wants staff and stakeholders to adhere to. Saying Herschel Walker, a black conservative, didn’t forget he’s black, he just doesn’t want to be black, is not respectful or making a “true effort to listen to differing views.”
Imagine if a candidate for a position in Johnston had used derogatory language toward Kamala Harris — perhaps a fly landed on her head and they said flies usually land on sh*t.
The double standard here is appalling and shameful. Yet it is where we are with the public education system — even here in Iowa.