SM East senior Emma Sullivan may have picked up thousands of supporters on the Internet — but her role in the past week’s controversy appears to be making life less than comfortable close to home.
The national political news website Politico reported that Sullivan stayed home from school Monday on account of bullying via Twitter.
“East! I just got off the phone w/ dr. k, he knows this was never aimed at him & this is out of control. Lets move on,” she tweeted Monday morning in response to the negative messages.
Meanwhile, several parents and students, worried about how the past week of national media attention would impact the school’s reputation, spent Tuesday organizing demonstrations of unity.
A group of students held a rally at 75th Street and Mission Road Tuesday afternoon to show their support for principal Karl Krawitz, who has taken considerable heat for his request that Sullivan apologize to Gov. Sam Brownback. (You can see video of the rally from the Harbinger here).
One student at the event told a local radio station that Krawitz was “one of the best men ever” and that the group wanted to make sure the rest of the Kansas City community understood what an influential leader he had been for the school.
The support took root in social media channels as well. Senior Adam Lowe lobbied for his classmates to speak up on behalf of the principal via Twitter.
“Show support for Dr. Krawitz. He doesn’t deserve this negative publicity. Just looking out for his students and school,” Lowe tweeted.
A group of current and former parents also organized an email writing campaign to demonstrate their support for Krawitz — who has been the subject of petitions calling for his removal.
Superintendent Gene Johnson responded to at least one of those emails with a message reassuring parents that Krawitz’s position was not in jeopardy:
Dr. Krawitz is, and will continue to be, the principal at Shawnee Mission East High School. He is a valuable member of Shawnee Mission’s administrative team, and he will continue in that role as East’s principal. There has been absolutely no discussions to the contrary.