- Click here for an updated story - School Board Member Resigns Over Facebook Posts On George Floyd, Protests
While recognizing free speech rights, Brewster School Board President Sonia Mesika is calling for a trustee to resign after she made inflammatory social media posts after the death of George Floyd.
On Sunday, May 31, a post on Trustee Krista Berardi's Facebook account said: “Read This Now!!! Was the George Floyd Incident Staged?” in all capital letters.
Later, on Wednesday, June 3, a post on the account read: “This is the (expletive) I’m dealing with right now. It’s been such an emotional rollercoaster the past couple of days, I just want to get out with my daughter for a couple of hours.”
The posts led to an outcry in the community, though the Board of Education announced this week during a Zoom meeting that Berardi would not be removed from her position.
In response, Mesika penned a letter to the community calling for the trustee’s resignation.
“The Board of Education recognizes that Board Trustee Berardi has free speech rights as an individual, which prevents the Board from taking legal action to seek her removal,” she said. “However, I would like to say personally, for Ms. Berardi to continue as a Trustee is disruptive to the Board and hinders the work of our administration, faculty, and staff.
“Personally, I believe it is imperative that Ms. Berardi resign from her position as a Board Trustee immediately,” Mesika added. “I believe she has breached the trust of the community.
“I find her posts reprehensible, offensive, and inexcusable. They are not consistent with what I fight for every day while I serve on this Board, and in my opinion, what I believe our Board as a whole represents.”
Mesika said that once larger gatherings are allowed to be held in-person during the COVID-19 crisis, the district will hold a public forum to allow the community to be heard in-person, not virtually.
“The community relies on our Board of Education to be transparent and to function with integrity on behalf of every single child in our District,” she said,
“As a Board, it is our collective obligation, duty, and responsibility to model in our actions and words that we stand for and promote a District that is tolerant, diverse, and inclusive and opposes racism and discrimination on every level.”
The Brewster School District is expected to issue a statement of its own later in the day.
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