Antioch School Board Trustee Householder calls on Gibson-Gray to resign as Board President

Open letter to Diane Gibson-Gray

Dear Diane,

Please resign as board president.

But before you do, allow me to explain why I am making this request.

In the hours, days, and weeks following the tragic murder of our student, Jonathan “Jon Jon” Parker, at Deer Valley High School, you were silent. While the community looked for leadership, action, and compassion, you were busy posting nonsense on social media. Your tone-deaf response highlights your character and lack of qualifications for your position. Given the magnitude of this moment, you have clearly demonstrated you are not fit for public office. While that is for the voters to decide, you have no business being board president.

You were nominated as board president with the claim that your experience would help us through a “tough” year. Well, here we are. After a horrific tragedy that traumatized our children and our entire community, you quite simply failed to act in a timely and appropriate manner.

At our February 12th board meeting, you cried for the public over the death of Jon Jon. What you failed to mention to the public, after your crocodile tear-filled “prayers,” were the multiple requests from other board members and demands from the public to discuss district safety procedures, to be allowed to grieve, and to have a voice after Jon Jon’s death.

This is appalling for a number of reasons.

First, as you have pointed out in past meetings, we are one board with one voice, not a board with five different voices. But as board president, it was your choice to not call an emergency meeting immediately following a fatal shooting that took place on school grounds. That means that you, independently, chose to “voice” our opinion as a board by not saying a single word and ignoring the public’s cries. It is because of this you have no business being board president.

Second, after multiple requests from your colleagues, you deliberately disregarded our calls to add safety as an item for discussion at the February 12th board meeting. If you can’t be bothered to add six words to an agenda, you have no business being board president.

Third, after refusing to put “safety” as an item for discussion, you chose to ignore the calls by colleagues–who represent the entire community–to talk about the death of Jon Jon. You said our superintendent didn’t have “enough time” to “prepare” for a discussion regarding safety. As I stated during the meeting, the superintendent works for us as a board, not the other way around.

If you can’t see that we are beholden to the community, not the superintendent, you have no business being board president.

Your behavior since being elected board president follows the same pattern that I wrote about in my last op-ed.

No words, anger, or action will ever bring Jon Jon back to us. What we can do, as a board, is take responsibility for our actions and hold ourselves accountable for the lack of protection we provided on that horrific night. But for that to happen, we need true leadership, the kind you are clearly unable to provide.

Please step down.


Fellow Trustee, Ellie Householder

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