The Palm Beach County School Board has reportedly been inundated with messages from frustrated parents after the board released a new declaration earlier this month.
In a mission statement posted to the board’s website, it vowed to eliminate racism and systems of inequity, but Florida parents have argued the statement is at odds with their intended goal.
“Your statement is dividing us, and it incites racism,” mother of two, Jessica Martinez, told board members Wednesday, according to The Palm Beach Post.
The statement says the board is committed to “dismantling structures rooted in white advantage and transforming our system by hearing and elevating under-represented voices, sharing power, recognizing and eliminating bias, and redistributing resources to provide equitable outcomes.”
But parents have said the statement agreed to by the board earlier this month goes too far.
“Being a parent of both a Hispanic and a Caucasian student, this equity statement leads me to believe you’re viewing my children’s academics by the color of their skin or their ethnic background,” Martinez added.
Another parent reportedly told board members she will no longer allow her children to attend the county’s public school system.
“Equity, as you are calling it, is a political view and it is racist,” Amanda Silvestri told the board. “None of this despicable, political, racist nonsense should be pushed on innocent children and has absolutely no business being taught in schools,” she added.
Fox News could not reach the Palm Beach County School Board for comment regarding parent concerns.
But School Board Chairman Frank Barbieri said the statement’s wording had been misinterpreted, which has created an “untenable situation,” reported the Florida outlet.
The chairman said the statement was intended to show the board’s dedication to improving equality in Florida public schools.
“I think it’s important that we understand that was the purpose of the equity statement,” Barbieri said. “It wasn’t to make it a Black-and-White issue, which is what the perception now is.”