A Pennsylvania school board member declared last week that she would not vote for “the only cis White male” seeking to serve as president, despite admitting he would be “excellent” in the role.
Facing significant backlash for what appeared to be an instance of brazen discrimination, she will now be stepping down.
What are the details?
The Upper Moreland Township School District issued a statement on Monday indicating that board director Jennifer Solot, the woman who publicly indicated that race, sexual orientation, and gender were determining factors behind her board of school directors vote, has decided to resign, effective Jan. 2, 2023.
“She wishes to apologize for her poorly chosen words and does not want to be a distraction from the great things happening in our schools on a daily basis,” said the statement, signed by board president April Stainback and superintendent Susan Elliott.
The UMSD statement also claimed that Solot’s remarks were not necessarily reflective of the opinions shared by the board of directors or the district as a whole, and that the district values “the full diversity of the community we serve and help all students and staff achieve success without discrimination on the basis of race, color, age, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, ancestry, national origin, marital status, pregnancy, disability, or gender identity.”
Board director Greg D’Elia, a father of three who previously had the backing of local Democrats, gave a nod to the leftist sentiment Solot had expressed, underscoring that he “supports diversity,” but adding Solot’s “comments did not further diversity and reflected poorly on our community.”
Keeping it diverse, one exclusion at a time
UMSD exerts its influence in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The district serves over 3,200 K-12 students.
It held its board president election on Dec. 6. According to the Daily Mail, Solot, who served as treasurer on the board of directors, led the meeting.
Solot suggested that it would “send the wrong message” to elect D’Elia over the incumbent president April Stainback, ostensibly a straight white woman.
“I believe that Mr. D’Elia would make an excellent president. However, I feel that electing the only cis white male on this board president of this district sends the wrong message to our community,” said Solot.
“Cis” is short for “cisgender,” a neologism used by LGBT activists denoting a person who does not reject the reality of his or her biological sex.
According to the school board treasurer, the “wrong message” that would be sent by electing an individual with undesirable immutable characteristics “is contrary to what we as a board have been trying to accomplish.”
In terms of accomplishments, the UMSD recently established a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging committee. This committee “will serve to inform policies and practices across the district” and “engage staff in professional development to build understanding of best practices to support belongingness and equity.”
It is unclear if or to what extent the DEIB committee has impacted Solot’s thinking.
“I think that it is important that we practice what we preach,” added Solot, intimating that the UMSD preaches in favor of discriminatory, anti-meritocratic practices.
— Megan Brock (@Megan Brock)
After Solot’s speech, eight members voted for Stainback. D’Elia had only his own vote in his favor.