The president of the Madera County Board of Education apparently posted an image of the Confederate flag overlaid with a message proclaiming “I’m proud to be white” on her Facebook page, prompting criticism Tuesday from the county’s superintendent of schools.
The message continued with “I bet no one passes this on because they are scared of being called a racist.”
The post by board president Sara Wilkins, who serves in the Area 2 seat representing portions of Raymond-Knowles, Bass Lake, and Yosemite Unified School Districts, was shared by @SierraMagyar on Twitter.
Wilkins could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
The Confederate flag is considered a white supremacist symbol by many people, and since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis there has been a rising tide of calls to ban it, including in stadiums and at race tracks.
— Sierra Girl :ocean: (@SierraMagyar) June 23, 2020
Post Doesn’t Reflect County School Board Views
Madera County Superintendent of Schools Cecilia A. Massetti told GV Wire℠ on Tuesday afternoon that the social media post does not reflect the views of the Board of Education or her office.
“It’s unfortunate that Mrs. Wilkins made the comment,” she said.
Massetti said she had not verified with Wilkins that the post is hers.
“I have not been able to contact her,” she said.
Wilkins was first elected to the board in 1989, and her current term expires in 2022. She served as president of the California County Boards of Education in 2003, according to the Madera County Schools website.
Central Unified Trustee Under Fire
Wilkins’ post comes on the heels of a Facebook post by Central Unified School District trustee Richard Atkins last weekend, “If you don’t Love the Country you live in, then go back to the country you or your ancestors came from. I’m SICK of this Shit.”
Atkins, who represents the ethnically diverse Area 4 seat in the southeast part of the district south of Princeton Avenue and east of Hayes Avenue, subsequently issued a statement apologizing for his “insensitive” comments.
Central district leaders also released statements disavowing the district from Atkins’ post.
A number of petition drives have surfaced calling for Atkins to resign or be recalled, and the district has scheduled a special meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday to talk about the Facebook post.