Local School Board Member Steps Down Over Social Media Backlash
A school board member handed in her resignation this weekend after receiving criticism for Facebook posts many people thought were racist.
On May 31 Brewster School Board member, Krista Berardi took to Facebook to share an opinion that the George Floyd murder was staged. The message, which appeared to have been cut and pasted from another account, included a conspiracy theory that somehow the police officers and Floyd were secretly working together to discredit Donald Trump. Another post was made on June 3 in reaction to a peaceful protest that was happening near Danbury.
These dumbasses need to get hosed if they don't get off the highway. This will never make people sympathetic to your cause, it will make people hate you though."
Community members quickly condemned the posts, calling them "racist." A petition was even filed on Change.org demanding that Berardi be removed from her position on the Board of Education.
The Brewster Board of Education called a special meeting on Thursday evening to address the issue and decide on a course of action. Although they condemned the statements, the board said that they were legally unable to remove Berardi from her position.
Condemnation of Berardi's comments continued as community members shared their displeasure online over the trustee remaining on the school board. But then, on Saturday, the Brewster Central School District announced that Berardi had resigned from her position. A letter to parents acknowledged the trustee's years of service and her decision to step down to "help our community heal."
The letter continued with a pledge to regain the trust of students and parents.
We recognize the events of the last few days have been painful for many. As a Board, we have an unbending obligation to the well-being of every child in our community. Toward that end, we will be working with our students, parents, administrators, faculty, staff, and community residents to promote positive and caring relationships, trust, and understanding.
The Brewster School District has also promised to hold a public forum once social distancing rules will allow it.
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