A Hispanic member of a California school board slapped the chip off a black board member’s shoulder for frivolously playing the race card by saying that wanting to reopen schools was a “white supremacy ideology” akin to “slavery.”
The brouhaha erupted Tuesday during a public Zoom call involving the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District board, according to KGTV-TV. The group was discussing an upcoming vote to reopen schools.
Charda Bell-Fontenot, the vice president of the board, got angry when one of her colleagues suggested that they agree on a date to reopen schools in the district.
An irritated Bell-Fontenot retorted, “We don’t have to give anybody any date! We don’t have to do anything that we don’t want to do right now!”
Another board member said 70 to 80 percent of parents had indicated that they wanted classes to resume and that they deserved some sort of response.
Bell-Fontenot reacted by launching an offensive, race-baiting tirade — including asking which parents wanted schools to reopen.
She suggested that it was racist white parents who were pushing to get their children back in class following almost a year of school closures.
“Where are they?” Bell-Fontenot asked.
She followed up by demanding to know what was the “language group” of the parents who wanted to reopen schools and where they lived.
“That seems like a very white supremacist ideology, to force people to comply with and conform — just letting you know,” Bell-Fontenot said.
She then accused the board members (several of whom were Hispanic) of abusing their white privilege.
“Privilege. Check it, you guys,” Bell-Fontenot said.
“I don’t want to be a part of forcing anybody to do anything they don’t wanna do. That’s what slavery is. I’m not gonna be a part of it.”
She then insulted the entire board, as well as the hundreds of parents who were listening in on the call, by dismissing them as clueless.
“None of you guys even know what we’re talking about right now!” she said. “You guys don’t have all the information that you need.”
At that point, David Feliciano — the superintendent of the district — replied that he took “great offense” to Bell-Fontenot’s insult when she said, “no one on here knows what they’re talking about.”
An angry Bell-Fontenot reacted by essentially telling Feliciano to mind his own business and said if any of her colleagues were offended, they should speak up for themselves.
Later in the meeting, board member Minerva Martinez Scott clapped back at Bell-Fontenot’s cavalier use of the race card to bully everyone.
“You keep throwing out the racism, but I am Hispanic,” Scott remarked. “I have four adopted children. We look like the U.N., so that’s why when you say — you’re throwing out the racism, I don’t understand that part either. So I’m just confused.”
The board ultimately voted to partially reopen schools on April 19 for two days a week, two hours per day, according to KFMB-TV. Bell-Fontenot was the only member who voted no.
After the meeting, numerous offended parents chided Bell-Fontenot’s combative, obnoxious attitude.
“I feel she should have been a little more professional,” Spring Vick told KGTV.
Mai Teague chimed in, “Very condescending tone, just talking down to everyone and resisting what anyone had to say.”
A petition demanding Bell-Fontenot’s immediate resignation has garnered more than 3,700 signatures as of Saturday morning.
“Charda Bell-Fontenot is unprofessional and does not represent our kids or community in the light in which either deserve,” the petition reads. “Our kids deserve better.”
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