A member of the Bourne, Massachusetts school committee is under fire after TikTok videos she posted on race and gender identity came to the attention of the district.
The Bourne Educators Association is calling on Kari MacRae, who was elected to the school committee in May in an uncontested race, to step down, saying her views are clearly not in keeping with the values of the district and are damaging to students.
While MacRae’s TikTok is no longer publicly available (her username is @ nanamacof4), videos and screenshots were shared with Boston.com by parent and district educator Alexandra Caldwell, the parent. Alexandra Stanton and an anonymous source.
In the first video, MacRae says she ran for office to make sure students don’t learn critical race theory – and that the country was built on racism – or that they can choose their gender.
“It’s one thing to include and it’s one thing to be inclusive. And it’s one thing to educate everyone on everything, ”she says. “It’s a whole other thing to push your agenda. With me at the school board, this will not happen in our city.
In the second, she says she won’t use them / them pronouns to refer to someone, only their name, because she’s not going to lie and say that someone is plural when they are not. is not.
School committee chair Emily Berry told Boston.com that the committee and the superintendent had seen the positions of a Bourne graduate and met in executive session on September 1 to discuss the matter. That’s when the union heard about it: AnnMarie Strode, president of the BEA and a history teacher at Bourne High School, said Boston.com union members got together soon after. and voted unanimously to call for MacRae’s resignation.
“It’s all about our students, and we have a number of students who are part of the LGBTQ + community,” Strode said. “As educators, it is important that we stand up for our students. They are in a vulnerable position at this age to try to figure out who they are, where they are going and what they are doing. The memes that were posted were really anti-transgender – there was a pattern to that – and as a union we had to stand up for our students. “
The union and district are focusing on MacRae’s comments on gender, not his comments on Critical Race Theory, as the state’s curriculum does not include Critical Race Theory. Additionally, Strode said members initially only saw posts regarding gender, not race, but advocated for an inclusive school community at all levels.
“We do not support the denigration of anyone, regardless of color, gender, ethnicity or identity – we want to provide a safe environment for all students and staff,” Strode said. “It’s at the heart of our values, and it’s something we are responsible for and what we need to do to our students. “
Bourne Superintendent Kerri Anne Quinlan-Zhou told Boston.com the district is monitoring the impact on the school community to understand how people may need support.
“As educators, the administrative team and I stand in solidarity with the Bourne Education Association to ensure that Bourne public schools continue to be a welcoming and inclusive place for all students and staff,” said she wrote.
“The number one priority of the Bourne School Committee is to ensure a respectful, responsible and safe environment for all students and staff,” said Berry. “Several posts on Ms. MacRae’s TikTok were derogatory to the LGBTQ community and in direct violation of the Bourne Public School policy regarding diversity, equity and inclusion.”
MacRae did not respond to multiple requests for comment but sent a statement to the Cape Cod Hours. According to Berry, she has also apologized to the committee and is preparing an official statement for a future public meeting.
“I decided to run for the school committee to give back to my community that I love and have been a citizen of my whole life,” MacRae said. “Since taking the oath on May 19, I have been engaged, excited and learned so much. I now feel that I have let some down. The mere thought that a member of our community feels less safe and heard saddens me deeply. As a mother, grandmother, and wife, I have always been someone that family, friends and colleagues could turn to for help with life’s challenges. I have also been a proud resident of Bourne forever and love my community and that includes EVERYBODY! I love our schools and our staff whom I have known for many years after bringing three children through our public school system.
The union will formally call for MacRae’s resignation at a meeting Wednesday evening, where the issue will be discussed again in executive session after public comment. Berry said the school committee did not have the power to remove a member, so MacRae would have to resign or a recall election would have to be held.
Caldwell, who is part of a parent unit of two mothers raising a transgender child, believes MacRae should step down as she does not appear determined to provide a safe learning environment for everyone.
“There’s a lot of research on the mental health of trans youth – that they’re more likely to attempt or commit suicide, they’re more likely to end up with substance abuse issues, more likely to be depressed because of they are excluded, ”she said. noted. “This research is based on not being affirmed for who they are and not being supported for who they really are. We’re on a path… in which we support children for who they really are, no matter what we thought they might have been. She tries to go back … Visibility matters to people, cultures, and if our schools tell people to hide who they are, it doesn’t just affect the individuals who are hiding, it affects the generations who are hiding. will follow them because they don’t see themselves as successful people.
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