POJOAQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – People are calling for an apology from the Pojoaque Valley High School principal after he posted a controversial photo on his Facebook page. Now, his current and former students want him to be held accountable. Screenshots show Principal Terry Burks posted a photo on his Facebook page that said, “Police will leave you alone if you don’t do anything illegal.” It’s that post that caused a lot of outrage.
Marisa Gutierrez is an upcoming senior and says she couldn’t stay quiet after seeing her principal post something so insensitive while protests are going on all over the country. “This isn’t acceptable especially for someone in Mr. Burks’ position,” she says.
That’s why she created a Change.org petition in hopes of grabbing Burks’ attention. As someone who was once in his history class, Kristy Miera says it was disheartening to see an educator take such a strong stance. “For him to be someone who taught me civil liberties, and to see him just post that was just awful,” she says.
Mia Speckled Rock is another former student who also signed the petition. While she has nothing but fond memories of her time as Burks’ student, she says she’s not surprised by his comments. “I hope that he apologizes for all of his actions, as well as I hope he uses his platform to do better,” she says.
The superintendent told KRQE News 13 over the phone, the issue is being looked into. While she would not tell us if Burks is on leave, she did say she will review the social media policy and provide additional cultural sensitivity training for all staff.
Current and former students agree it’s a step in the right direction, but Gutierrez says there’s only one person she wants to hear from. “I still have not heard a thing from the man in question and I think that’s what we’re all longing for,” she says.
Gutierrez wants to make it clear she is not trying to ruin Burks’ career. She just wants to hold him accountable. We reached out to Burks for comment but did not hear back.