Tipp City superintendent calls out what he calls social media ‘misinformation’

Tipp City Superintendent Mark Stefanik
Caption
Tipp City Superintendent Mark Stefanik

TIPP CITY - Tipp City schools’ Superintendent Mark Stefanik would like residents to concentrate more on the district’s accomplishments and less on controversies he thinks have been intensified by “misinformation” on social media.

Stefanik earlier this month posted on the district’s website a statement he said was intended to “clarify misinformation being spread in the community and on social media.” He is in his first year leading the southern Miami County school district.

He encouraged residents with questions about the district or board actions to contact him or the board of education office instead of relying on misinformation or other postings on social media.

“Researching and correcting misinformation takes time and diverts attention and time away from important district business. Instead of seeking answers on unofficial sites (i.e., Facebook pages, Twitter, and other channels) to address district needs/issues effectively, please send us an email, schedule an appointment, or call the board office,” Stefanik wrote.

The statement addressed six issues ranging from how vacant positions and contracts set to expire are handled by the staff and board of education to the board’s policy on who can reach out to district lawyers with questions.

The board of education’s role in the appointment of Tipp City Public Library trustees also was addressed. This topic followed the recent controversy during which community members rallied outside a board meeting due to fears that the board wanted more control over trustee appointments.

The statement posted at tippcityschools.com was written by Stefanik, who said he asked the five board of education members to submit topics they wanted addressed, He made the final decisions on what to include, he said.

“Board members did not review the final document before it was posted... I want to emphasize that this is not a board statement. It is a district statement written by me. Approval by board members was not required,” Stefanik said.

It is not unusual for a school district to post statements and/or documents to clarify misinformation, said Stefanik. Those statements usually deal with a particular topic where this statement addresses six issues in addition to comments by Stefanik.

“Tipp City Schools is a strong district. Some controversy is a part of life, but we should not let that dominate the headlines and detract from the outstanding accomplishments synonymous with Tipp City Schools,” he wrote. “Instead, let’s allow ourselves to disagree civilly based on facts and focus our attention on our fantastic district’s many successes!”

He said he would consider clarifying information again as it becomes necessary.

Board members held a lengthy discussion in December on comments made on social media with some members mentioning the need to clarify for the community wrong information posted about district finances or actions.

Board of Education President Theresa Dunaway declined comment on the posting, referring questions to Stefanik.

Contact this contributing writer at nancykburr@aol.com