Two Boston school officials have resigned over surfaced private text messages slamming White parents as “delusional” and “racist.”
Boston School Committee Chairwoman Alexandra Oliver-Dávila and committee member Lorna Rivera submitted their resignations after facing backlash for text messages sent to one another during a committee meeting in October.
“Wait until the white racists start yelling at us,” Ms. Rivera said to Ms. Oliver-Dávila at the time in a text message obtained through a Boston Globe public records request.
“Whatever. They’re delusional,” Ms. Oliver-Dávila, who is of Argentinian and Nicaraguan descent, responded.
“I hate WR,” added Ms. Oliver-Dávila, referring to West Roxbury, The Globe reported.
“Sick of Westie whites,” Ms. Rivera, who is from Puerto Rico, replied.
“Me too. I really feel like saying that,” Ms. Oliver-Dávila responded.
Mayor Kim Janey said the resignations leave “a void in Latina leadership on our school committee that I am determined to address,” The Associated Press reported.
“Their private remarks, which were recently made public, were unfortunate and unfairly disparaged members of the Boston Public Schools community,” she said.
Ms. Oliver-Dávila and Ms. Rivera issued statements saying they had experienced hardships in their positions.
“It was painful. And in the heat of the moment it caused me to vent by sending inappropriate personal text messages to one of my colleagues,” Ms. Oliver-Dávila said. “I regrettably allowed myself to do what others have done to me. I failed my own standards.”
Ms. Rivera said, “I am being targeted as a Latina gender studies professor who teaches about racism, patriarchy, and oppression.”
“Because of the harassment and overwhelming stress from School Committee-related work, my mental and physical health has deteriorated, so I need to resign and recuperate,” she said.
The controversial texts were sent during a virtual school board hearing as it was considering a proposal to temporarily drop the entrance test requirement to the city’s exam schools, AP reported.
The meeting also resulted in the resignation of then-committee chairman Michael Loconto, who was overheard mocking the Asian names of people wishing to speak at the hearing, The Globe reported.