1:53 PM PDT, August 20, 2021
An Ohio community is outraged after a former teacher posted a bizarre remark on social media regarding the death of 10-year-old Persayus Davis-May, who was the innocent victim of a shooting on Wednesday.
The teacher, who is a Youngstown City School District employee, wrote after Davis-May’s senseless death: “I am so angry and sad at the same time. This baby was not my brightest but she was our caregiver and protector.”
“She struggled with all academics but could count money like it was her job,” the teacher, who was not identified, wrote in the post, WKBN News reported.
Tayana Smith, the little girl’s godmother, said that she was not sure what the teacher’s objective was in posting that message, but called it “very disheartening, especially when we are still grieving the loss,” the news outlet said.
Smith described her goddaughter as “a beautiful and loving child who was never afraid to speak her mind.” She said that the family is taking the loss very hard, WKBN reported
On Thursday night, Board of Education President Ronald Shadd of the Youngstown City Schools issued a statement that their “hearts are broken over this tragic event that led to the death of Persayus Davis-May,” and addressed the comments made by the Youngstown City School District employee on social media,
Shadd, who said he has been a lifelong citizen of Youngstown and whose family has also been irreversibly impacted by gun violence, “urged everyone to embrace and share the message to ‘stop the violence.’”
“As your Board of Education President, I regret that the pain many are feeling was compounded by comments of an insensitive nature. Although the Board currently has no authority to manage the District or to judge personnel conduct, as a board member I expect personnel of the District to maintain high standards and always conduct themselves professionally for the benefit of our students. I believe the Board would concur with me that action should be taken to conduct sensitivity and diversity, equity and inclusion training for all staff and faculty.
“It is evident that our Academic Improvement Plan must not only address student performance but culture and climate for our students, family and employees,” he continued. “Now is the time for Youngstown to stand in solidarity with Youngstown’s Stop the Violence movement.”
According to the Mahoning County Coroner, there were two shootings on Wednesday, WKBN News reported.
Davis-May was hit by gunfire inside a home on Samuel Avenue. And, 40-year-old Michael Callahan was found shot on Palmer Avenue.
On Wednesday evening, Youngstown Mayor Jamael Tito Brown addressed the community and asked anyone with answers to come forward. He said the pair of shootings that killed Davis-May and Callahan, and wounded four others, were linked, WKBN previously reported.
As tears rolled down his face, Brown said “any death is tragic, but to lose a 10-year-old to violence makes my heartache right now.”
“Being a father, I can’t imagine,” Brown said. “Tomorrow morning, my son’s heading to school. I can’t imagine him not going to school.
“This has to stop,” he continued. “We’re not solving anything. Now our babies — our babies — are victims of adult feuds. Street justice has proven not to be an answer. Put down the guns.”
A $10,000 reward has been offered for information leading to a conviction in the case, NewsNationNow reported.