Call for the Resignation of TCSD Board of Education President Scott Sherwood
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It is time for the Trumansburg School Community to say enough is enough. This week, Trumansburg Board of Education President Scott Sherwood publicly posted the following statement on his Facebook page regarding the deadly riot at the nation’s Capitol on Wednesday, January 6th:
“While I certainly don’t agree with what went on in the capital [sic] today, it is notable that the protestors are leaving peacefully, nothing is burning, no cars of innocent people have been targeted, no businesses have been looted, and no police are being spit on. Just my observations.”
This statement is wildly inaccurate and demonstrates willful ignorance concerning the differences between justice movements and violent insurrections. Reports from countless credentialed outlets provided coverage on the violence, injuries, vandalism, theft, destruction of government property, and the deaths of several rioters, as well as the murder of a police officer. Perhaps Mr. Sherwood was simply misinformed before he posted. However, his thinly-veiled attempts to draw a false comparison between Black Lives Matter protests and the domestic terrorism intended to overthrow a democratic process based on conspiracy theories shows a fundamental lack of judgment and the propensity to malign the largest social justice and civil rights movement in modern-day history.
Elected Board members have an obligation and responsibility to model and promote a commitment to opposing racism and discrimination in every form. News outlets have widely reported that the insurrectionists and rioters adhered to a violent, white supremacist world view. They carried confederate flags, hung nooses, adorned themselves with Nazi regalia, wore anti-semitic t-shirts, and donned clothing and carried flags supporting the white supremacist anti-semitic conspiracy theory QAnon.
Sherwood’s comments are not consistent with the clearly articulated values and commitments of the Trumansburg School District, as communicated by the Superintendent, the district’s Missions and Philosophy, or the Board of Education Goals. These goals are the School Board’s responsibility and especially the president of the School Board to understand and undertake. On January 7th, Superintendent Bell released a district-wide statement on the Capitol riots. She stated that “we maintain an obligation to promote ideals of non-violence, justice, anti-racism, and equity.” Last year, in June, after citizens organized hundreds of Black Lives Matter and solidarity demonstrations in response to George Floyd’s murder, Superintendent Bell declared that TCSD is “committed to becoming an anti-racist institution.”
The School Board has been working on updating and amending one of the key district goals. Goal four is proposed to be revised to the following: "TCSD will provide educational opportunities and experiences that are culturally responsive, respectful and inclusive of multiple expressions of diversity, and developmentally appropriate. TCSD strives to become an inclusive and equitable institution for all, particularly those whose opportunities to learn and thrive are impacted by systemic disadvantages, marginalization, and exclusion."
Unfortunately, Mr. Sherwood has shown on social media and in his comments during Board meetings that he is not the person to lead the district to these goals. The Trumansburg School Board needs new leadership to move forward towards Goal four, towards being an anti-racist institution, towards a district with an understanding of “social justice movements and the quest for greater understanding of race in our nation’s history” (Superintendent Bell, 1/7/21). Mr. Sherwood’s perspective and bias are not the ones needed as the board president when the district is working to move towards a more inclusive and equitable direction.
We, the undersigned, ask for the resignation of Scott Sherwood from the Trumansburg School District Board of Education.
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