Gov School Controversy

Accusations of censorship

Evan Smith
April 23, 2019 - 3:19 pm

The controversy currently swirling over the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics stems from a meeting that took place earlier this month.

Faculty members at that special-called meeting say the conversation steered toward open criticism of the school president.

Following the meeting, faculty members were told to destroy copies of the minutes, because they contained “potentially defamatory information about named school employees.” Now the South Carolina Press Association is saying the effort to destroy the minutes amounts to censorship.  

The minutes were attached to an email that was sent out to school faculty and staff on April 5, after which Jon Shannon, the executive vice president and chief information officer for the school, notified staff that the attachment was being “administratively removed” – meaning it was being retroactively deleted from everyone’s Outlook mailboxes.

In defense of the move, Shannon said using the school’s own email system to distribute potentially harmful communications was inappropriate.

The criticism reportedly centered on school president Hector Flores, who came on-board in 2016 and ushered in what some faculty members say are damaging changes to the school’s culture and operations.  

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