Racist Attitudes Have No Place on School Boards or Anywhere Else

Carl Paladino, a member of the Buffalo NY Board of Education, made the worst of racist statements this holiday season and says he won’t step down.

I try to find the positive in public education to write about, but sometimes staying positive means you have to call out the negative.

Here’s why: the only way the Buffalo Board of Education can focus on its positive work is for Mr. Paladino to resign his post. The Board has set a special meeting for tomorrow, Dec. 28, to address this issue.

You can find his comments, if you wish, by searching his name, or by accessing the link at the end of this blog. He has been asked to step down by various public officials in his community and state, but he remains defiant, stating he won’t.

In this New Year, the growing acceptance of poor behavior on the part of our leaders should end. How can we expect our students to grow into respectful, self-confident adults if we don’t?

I hope the public education community will be among the first to respond to this type of behavior in a strong fashion. That will be a positive move, and set the standard for others.



About Debbie Wesslund

I served on the Jefferson County Board of Education, Louisville, KY, from 2007-2014 and continue to be an advocate for public schools. There’s a high-level dialogue about public education that swings from positive to negative, with many who seek the spotlight voicing an inaccurate picture of our public schools. Words matter. They get lodged in our public perceptions, creating a narrative that doesn’t reflect the real story. There’s so much more to public education, and much worth applauding in Kentucky and across the country. The stakes are high: public education is the most serious public business we are about as a community, a state and a nation. We must continually renew our resolve to support public education. There’s always more promise in building something up, than in tearing it down.
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