Principal didn't require apology from teen tweeter to Brownback
The Kansas City Star
It turns out one of teen tweeter Emma Sullivan’s original claims - that her principal was forcing her to apologize for an offensive tweet last month about Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback - wasn’t true.
Shawnee Mission East Principal Karl Krawitz says in a blunt email to Brownback’s staff that “The governor should know we did not force any letter of apology.’ (The email is in a report by NBC Action News.)
And Sullivan belatedly this week acknowledged the same thing: No apology was ordered.
Krawitz didn’t help get his side of the story told to the public well at the outset, insisting that the issue was private, not a public matter. By not clearing up this key point right away, that enabled Sullivan’s initial claim to be repeated in articles and opinion pieces here and in media around the country.
The incident began with Sullivan’s infamous tweet about Brownback: “Just made mean comments at gov. brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot.”
Five days later, In his email to Brownback’s office, Krawitz had some tough things to say about Sullivan and also the governor. And two days later, after a national response to the incident, much of it about the overreaction of Brownback’s staff to the tweet, Brownback actually was the one who properly apologized for what had happened.
The email from Krawitz gives an added dimension to this story. It helps humanize another player in the drama.
“I hope you will share this with the governor. You need to know there are many inaccuracies associated with her story. Since we protect the privacy of kids, I will not comment on specifics of the case except to say there are two sides to the story. This is not about political views or opinions or free speech - it (is) about being respectful as a student while on a school trip. What she does on her time is her business. She was dishonest to her friends when she sent the tweet and who knows why she decided to send it to the governor, but it is disrespectful.
“The governor should know we did not force any letter of apology. There were no threats if she did not – they were not even discussed. We did not take her phone, imposed any sanctions, suspend her from school, removed her from any activity - nothing – simply write a letter of apology. I am not a big fan of the governor, but I respect the person and the office. He may be used to this kind of negative mail (which is disgusting), however I am not. The hate mail I have received is a disgrace. I am not sure what will become of this issue – unfortunately, this will probably get ugly.”