Lyon College president under fire over remarks

Local News

BATESVILLE, Ark. — There is outrage in Batesville, after alleged controversial comments by the president of Lyon College.

Many people in the community are upset after president Doctor Joseph King gave an interview saying the town was full of white supremacists.

In the article for the online newspaper Chronicle of Higher Education King also talked about a Trump rally last fall with thousands of hostile protestors.

However, the Batesville police chief said the rally and other incidents stated in the article never happened.

“I don’t feel like I can back off of it. Now, am I asking for Dr. King to be terminated? No. but I feel the board and the college is going to have to do something to satisfy the community or they’re going to lose support from this community.”

President King released a letter saying he was misquoted… and that while Batesville is welcoming and inclusive… many other parts of the state are not.

DuShun Scarbrough, With the Arkansas Martin Luther King Jr. Commission, said he wants to extend a branch of reconciliation to the Lyon college president.

In a letter to Doctor Joseph King he writes “While the comments were of your own opinion and possibly not intended as they were communicated, they were received as offensive and hurtful and unbecoming of an educational leader with your educational accomplishments.”

Scarbrough also says  “In the spirit of Dr. King, I would like the opportunity to sit down with you for a “crucial conversation “to discuss the feelings and basis that shaped your comments.”

The letter goes on to say that the Batesville mayor, police chief and other members of the King commission will attend the meeting.

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