DeSOTO (CBSDFW.COM) – Some DeSoto families are demanding a change in the school district’s leadership after controversial social media posts from the recently appointed acting superintendent came to light.
On Thursday evening, dozens gathered outside DeSoto Independent School District headquarters with signs to protest Don Hooper’s new role.
“We need somebody over our kids that has their best interests at heart,” said Alvin Culberson, who has two kids in DeSoto ISD schools.
Hooper was named acting superintendent after Dr. D’Andre Weaver abruptly resigned from the role over the weekend.
Just days after being appointed to the job, some of Hooper’s old Facebook posts resurfaced and sparked controversy. He shared a meme making fun of Black activist and former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Another post about Democrats said they “haven’t been this mad at Republicans since we freed their slaves.”
“This is not something he posted when he was much younger, didn’t know any better,” said Gail Loston, whose children graduated from DeSoto ISD schools. “This was posted in the past two years. To post something so racially charged and just so offensive, this is not a person that needs to be in any influential position in a DeSoto school district.”
In a statement, the district said it —
“…has been made aware of past social media posts shared to the personal social media account of Acting Superintendent Dr. Don Hooper whose hiring as a consultant was approved by the Board at the recommendation of the district’s former superintendent. DeSoto ISD prides itself on its diverse school community and does not support, condone or excuse the rhetoric of the reposted content.”
DeSoto ISD also shared the following apology from Hooper:
“The content in question does not reflect my leadership, character nor career. I love all people regardless of the color of their skin. I see people for their souls. I’ve made my mistakes and had errors in judgment from time to time. I am human and not without fault. I ask forgiveness for those I have offended by my decision to share the content and have removed those posts as they do not reflect my beliefs about people. In this season, I do not desire to be another factor in the negativity that has surrounded DeSoto ISD. Instead, I want to emphasize the lesson learned in this moment, and move forward having grown as a person and leader.”
Those at the protest Thursday night said his apology just doesn’t cut it.
“First, we want Don Hooper out,” Culberson said. “Secondly, we want to get our district together.”
A recent Texas Education Agency investigation found years of financial mismanagement and other issues. A state conservator was appointed this week to help get the troubled district back on track.
“What the district needs to be doing is getting the right people in the right seats right now, because our children have been through a lot and we need to stop all this chaos that’s going on,” said DeSoto resident Jason Moffett.
The Desoto ISD Board of Trustees has called a special meeting for Sunday night at 6 p.m. to consider who is going to be superintendent. Due to safety concerns related to COVID-19 coronavirus, the meeting will be conducted by videoconference or telephone.