IMPORTANT STATEMENT FROM SERPHIN R. MALTESE, CHAIRMAN

CK Statement

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Feb 12, 2018

STATEMENT FROM CHRIST THE KING HIGH SCHOOL

To the Christ the King Family, Campus and Communities we serve:

Christ the King High School strives to create a welcoming environment for our entire community. It should also be noted that Christ the King, an independent Catholic High School, proudly serves a multi-cultural student body. All races and religions are welcome, and that has made our diverse campus a model for others to emulate.

Like all schools, our rules are established for the enhancement of learning and the good and welfare of all on campus. Given the diverse nature of this community, we are especially concerned about language and deportment so that no member of our Christ the King family feels marginalized in any way.

One of the established and long standing rules regarding what name may be stitched on Senior sweatshirts has been misconstrued in the press. Pursuant to our email sent to parents and students on Nov 30, 2017 by Assistant Principal Veronica Arbitello, “ Students may have their first or last name printed on the sleeve” and for the form to be returned by Dec 18, 2017. (See attached order form and email) That rule, “last or first name only – no nicknames” is again repeated in the sweatshirt order form, which was to be returned by Jan 31st, which was sent to parents and students. The goal is to have a uniform rule that permits the student his or her identity. Occasionally, a nickname is approved if that is the most common identity of that student, the name by which the student body and faculty know that student.

The recent articles about one of our students and Malcolm X has, unfortunately, been taken out of context and has been misconstrued. When this student’s family on February 7th raised the issue about the name he wished on the sweatshirt, the school’s administrators readily agreed to meet and discuss the matter. Unfortunately, before that meeting took place, this became a media issue when they went to the press and the Reverend Sharpton’s National Action Network.

Our school Officials, “CK Principal Geri Martinez and CK President Michael Michel” met the morning of February 8th with the student’s parents and agreed to include in the meeting their representative, Reverend Kevin McCall of the National Action Network. Despite the administrators’ offer to add a third option – including the students “first and middle name” on the sweatshirt, this was turned down.

We wish to note that all our school’s official records – original application, student portfolio, registration and his diploma from his 8th grade school have included only his first and last name without any middle initial or name. Thus, it would be fair to say, that until recently, this was not the students preferred choice or “the most common identity of the student”, the name by which the student body and faculty know that student.

The historical figure, Malcolm X, is a subject covered in our history classes, and has been a part of the curriculum for many years, especially in the study of the civil rights movement in our

country. Additionally, the school library has multiple books on Malcolm X as well as other figures from the African American experience.

While we believe that there was a misinterpretation between the parties, we regret the turn of events and the problems that have ensued.

It is our hope, that in the spirit of Christ the King that guides us, we will be able to resolve this on mutually acceptable terms, reinforcing all that is good about Christ the King High School.

Serphin R. Maltese, Chairman of the Board
Christ the King High School

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