2018-02-14 / Front Page

Christ the King Board of Trustees Clarifies Misunderstanding

Christ the King Board of Trustees Chair Serphin R. Maltese released the following statement to clarify any misunderstandings regarding a student’s request to have “Malcolm X” printed on his personalized senior T-shirt:

“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 campus a model for others to emulate. Like all schools, 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 rules regarding what name may be stitched on senior sweatshirts has been misconstrued in the press. Any senior purchasing a sweatshirt can have their first or last name added to the sweatshirt’s sleeve. That rule, first or last name, is spelled out clearly on the order form that is sent to parents and students. The goal is to have a uniform rule that allows the student his or her identity.

“The form does not call for middle names or initials, and also states no nicknames. 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 raised the issue about the name he wished on the sweatshirt, the school readily agreed to meet and discuss the matter. Unfortunately, before that meeting took place, this became a media issue.

“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.

“It is our hope, that in the spirit 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

***UPDATE ***

 The following release was sent out from Serphin R. Maltese, Chairman of the Board, Christ the King High School, repeating the above and adding:

“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 8 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 student’s ‘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 student’s preferred choice or ‘the most common identity of the student,’ the name by which the student body and faculty know that student.”

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