Abigail Smith 0

Calling for the Resignation of Dr. Keith Marty

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This petition is to call for the immediate resignation of Dr. Keith Marty, superintendent of Parkway School District. After multiple attempts to discuss the Covid-19 data with him and the Parkway School Board, it has become apparent that the wellbeing of our students is not of primary concern. The Return to Learn Dashboard, which he has used to justify closing down our schools (with a hybrid schedule with only 5 in person days this month for elementary kids), has not shown that Covid is spreading in our schools. To date, there have been 25 positive cases for students within our schools. That shows a rate of 0.1% for students. To date, there have been 24 positive cases for staff. That shows a rate of 0.7% for staff. For quarantine numbers, we have 50 staff quarantined for a rate of 1.63% and 144 students for a rate of 0.83%. These are well below the recommended thresholds that most districts are abiding by, which fall in the 3-5% range. However, the real problem is the lack of transparency with Dr. Marty’s board, his refusal to answer questions and concerns to parent emails and his complete control over our school board, who should not actually be answering to Dr. Marty, but should be answering to the parents and students of Parkway School District. There are dozens of examples of claims made by Dr. Marty in response to parental emails that are simply untrue. We have a superintendent that is boldly claiming grades haven’t dropped, teachers are happy with the students’ progress, and he doesn’t have the ability to staff his schools. Each of the school board meetings this school year have shown that decisions regarding in person learning were made well before the meeting. Not only is parental input ignored, but the input of Parkway educators, the St. Louis County Health Department, and the CDC has all been ignored. Parkway is the only district in west St. Louis County that does not have its elementary kids in school at least 4 days a week. It is the only district in the area that does not have its middle schoolers or high schools in person at all.

This isn’t just a matter of Parkway parents wanting their children in school; this is a matter of Dr. Marty’s refusal to listen to science or the recommendations of health professionals. Although Covid has brought to light the shortcomings of Dr. Marty and the school board which he runs, it has also shown how little input the parents of Parkway and even the educators of Parkway have on decisions that are made within a non-profit school district that we fund. There are challenges to opening our schools, but every other district is attempting to find solutions. Our superintendent makes $275,000 a year and refuses to even attempt to open the schools. Additionally, how can we trust anyone with our children’s education when he refuses to acknowledge recommendations by the CDC (including quarantines that last 10 days, not 14), concerns by the CDC and the American Pediatric Association regarding the need for children to be in school, or even the many academic scholarly journals that show that the loss of life for our kids is much greater if they are not in school. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said on November 29 that schools need to stay open because this is the safer option. Why does Dr. Marty think he knows more than all of these people combined? This is a travesty and we need new leadership.

Links are provided below, including the St. Louis County dashboard for community spread in our area.

https://data.stlouisco.com/app/covid-19-cases-by-zip-code-in-stl-county

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2772834

https://www.npr.org/2020/10/21/925794511/were-the-risks-of-reopening-schools-exaggerated

https://services.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/clinical-guidance/covid-19-planning-considerations-return-to-in-person-education-in-schools/

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