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School board resolution calls for Paladino to resign

WBFO News file photo

The Buffalo School Board is expected to vote on a resolution Thursday that will call for the ouster of board member Carl Paladino. A special session will be held at 2:30 p.m. at City Hall. 

“He has caused such a fire storm and has hurt and offended so many people, not just in our great city, but across the state and across the country,” said Hope Jay, Buffalo School Board member.

Credit WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley
Buffalo School Board member Hope Jay.

Jay issued a proposed resolution late Wednesday afternoon. It calls out Paladino for what she said were racist remarks in an Artvoice survey about a ‘wish’ list for 2017. Paladino's disparaging comments were directed at the Obama's.

The resolution calls on Paladino to immediately resign within 24 hours from the board. If he refuses, then the board will retain 'outside legal counsel' to file a petition with State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia requesting she remove Paladino.

“And we will do everything in our power to ensure that petition is on her desk within the 30-day time limit,” explained Jay.

The commissioner must receive a formal application and then hold a hearing. Western New York Regent Catherine Collins told WBFO News the decision is up to Elia.

“I’m not sure when the clock starts ticking. If it starts when she gets the application or when all of the fire storm started,” remarked Collins.

Credit WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley
Catherine Collins, WNY Regent representative.

WBFO asked Collins if she wants to see Paladino removed immediately.

“If possible. I will go along with whatever the commissioner does and I will stand with my other Regents. I think and I wish, that if he decides to step down it will really help a lot of people out there,” responded Collins.

Collins said Paladino's comments were 'so hurtful.'

Paladino said he won't resign, claiming he mistakenly hit the reply button sending out his remarks to Artvoice.

Board member Jay and five other female school board members signed the resolution; President Barbara Seals Nevergold, Theresa Harris-Tigg, Paulette Woods, Sharon Belton-Cottman and Jennifer Mecozzi.

Jay said News she's doesn't believe Paladino will be attending today's special session. Board member Quinn is also out of town.

Meanwhile, an updated statement was sent to WBFO Tuesday by the State Education Department saying they are in the "process of reviewing all of their options" in what they call an "unusual situation" and will closely watch the actions taken by the city school board Thursday.

The following is the full resolution to be presented to the board at Thursday's special session:

Resolution Regarding the Conduct of Board Member Carl Paladino December 29, 2016 Submitted by Board Member Hope Jay
Whereas, in a December 23, 2016 edition of the publication Artvoice, School Board Member Carl Paladino made the following statements in response to the questions of “What would you most like to happen in 2017?” and “What would you like to see go away in 2017?”:  1. Obama catches mad cow disease after being caught having relations with a Herford.  He dies before his trial and is buried in a cow pasture next to Valerie Jarret, who died weeks prior, after being convicted of sedition and treason, when a Jihady cell mate mistook her for being a nice person and decapitated her. 2.  Michelle Obama.  I’d like her to return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla.” And, 

Whereas, Mr. Paladino acknowledged that he made these statements;  And, Mr. Paladino is an elected official charged with the responsibility to represent children and families in a district comprised of over 70% Black, Brown, Asian, Immigrant and other minority students and families;  And, Mr. Paladino took an oath to ensure that students are afforded an environment which is free from fear and respects diversity within the school district and the community and is subject to all district policies; And,

Whereas, These unambiguously racist, morally repugnant, flagrantly disrespectful, inflammatory and inexcusable comments by Mr. Paladino have garnered both local, national, and international attention that reflects negatively on the Buffalo Board of Education, the City of Buffalo and its leadership and its citizens, the State of New York, and every decent human being in America and abroad who has been shocked and offended by his words; And,  

Whereas, Mr. Paladino’s behavior has irrevocably impacted the work of the Buffalo Board of Education by negatively impacting the Buffalo City School District in its goal of safeguarding the rights of all students in promoting a safe and healthy environment in which students are treated respectfully, by everyone,  And, the inalienable right, guaranteed by the New York State Constitution and the Dignity for All Students Act, afforded to the children of the City of Buffalo to be provided an education free of discrimination and harassment; And,  

Now, therefore, be it resolved that the Buffalo Board of Education demands that Mr. Paladino immediately resign within 24 hours from his position with the Board.  In the event that Mr. Paladino declines to resign within 24 hours, the Board resolves that it shall retain outside legal counsel to file a 306 Petition with NYS Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia to pursue Mr. Paladino’s removal from the Buffalo Board of Education. Recommendations for outside counsel shall be made by the General Counsel.  

President Barbara  A. Nevergold             Theresa Harris-Tigg                                  Paulette Woods Sharon Belton-Cottman                                           Jennifer Mecozzi                                       Hope R. Jay

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