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.

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.

26 Responses

  1. Wanda

    I’m proud to be white, my family is white and I have black, Asian Mexican,American Indian and we love each other. Stop looking at people’s color and see the person.

  2. John

    Unacceptable. The Confederate flag is a symbol of slavery and racism. It is used as a symbol of oppression. The president of the Madera County Board of Education should know what that Confederate symbol means, especially in the current climate of police brutality. I think that Wilkins and Atkins should step down immediately. How can you expect people to move to Madera if this is what their kids can expect in school?

    • D. Canning

      Love it John, you are 100% correct. I am really considering moving my family out of this area due to the fact that they locals are so far behind in time. I really do not want my children growing up in an area that has these dangerous warped beliefs. Thank you Sir…

      • Nancy McPherson

        I’m sorry to hear that you might move, but I totally understand your concern. I taught in North Fork for 30 years. My main objective was to teach children to be kind, fair, and inclusive with all people. Unfortunately, there are few people of color up here, which would be the best way to learn about others, but I understand why there aren’t. I believe this president has unleashed nationwide racism and stupidity, even on our school boards.

      • Jeremy G.

        Please move D. Canning. We don’t want people with your warped beliefs in this area. Just because we are proud of who we are and respect the history that made the United States of America doesn’t mean we are racist. We live with people of color and get along daily. We love everyone no matter their color or belief and it’s sad to see people like you trying to destroy someone because of their beliefs or just because they are strictly proud of who they are. So you do what you have to do and leave this county if that’s what you want, and yes I said county not country so don’t misconstrue that. Even though it would be fine with me and many others if you left the country as well. These people have the right to freedom of speech just like you and every other American and just because they say something doesn’t mean the my should lose their job. If it was threatening, I would understand but they did not threaten anyone physically. If it got the best of your emotions, oh well, get over it. Emotions don’t trump the law buddy. You should be ashamed of yourself and everyone like you should as well. 1st amendment baby, gotta love it. If you don’t like it, go somewhere that they want to suppress your words and viewsm this is why I love my country, the land of the free and home of the brave. Time to stand up for ourselves.

    • Loyd Warrick

      Why can’t someone be proud to be white? Blacks say there proud of there color all the time. It’s the double standard we live in. The flag is a symbol of heritage for southern white people. Why can’t people except that? I’m a proud white southern male, does that make me racist?

  3. Nora Hall

    Just because she claimed to be proud of being white, doesn’t mean that she’s a racist. Should she be ashamed of being white? No. Therefore, we should be proud to be a child of the Most High God. Just like anyone else, no matter the color of their skin.
    She is entitled to her opinion. And it’s healthy.

    • Michael B

      And she uses one of the racist symbols there is for blacks. And if you don’t think so then you too are part of the problem

    • Beth Almore

      The fact that she coupled of those sentiments with a confederate flag means one of two things: 1) She doesn’t know what the confederate flag means and has continued to mean in this country; or, 2) she knows what it means and doesn’t care. Either of those disqualify her to have anything to do with the education of children. Of course she’s completely entitled to her opinion. We live in a great country with freedom of speech, freedom of thought. But you are not free from the consequences of expressing those views. In this country, you are allowed to be a confederate flag worshipper, a ballet dancer, a Black Panther, a stoner, a Satan worshipper, a hippie, a KKK Grand Dragon, an ANTIFA organizer, a Nazi. But you are not entitled to a job.

      • Jeremy G.

        Beth Almore, are you freaking serious. Some of what you said has logic and I agree with but expressing your views has consequences. Like what kind of consequences? Clearly she shouldn’t be fired for expressing herself, especially as someone in education. We should be praised for expressing ourselves not fired. That’s the problem with education these days, people like you don’t want kids or anyone else to express themselves, you want them to conform to the liberal socialistic views trying to be brought upon us here in America and I’ll tell you what, we will not stand for that.

    • Liliam

      The problem here is not that she’s white, the problem is the background she used. That’s a whole different kind of whiteness, buddy….. don’t add yourself to the educated uneducated human kind plz.

    • Angela

      She should be ashamed of this flag it’s the flag of losers they lost or did y’all forget that. Turned against their own country because they wanted to keep free labor. Again they LOST!!! Burn that flag and let it go

  4. Lia

    Are you guys serious??? Some of you support the symbolism in her post & don’t understand what’s so wrong with it?? Wow, we literally fought two wars about this: Nazi Germany & Confederacy. Y’all are 0-2. Stop kidding yourselves & trying to make these flags have some other symbolic reasoning besides pure hatred towards anything but that white skin. No wonder COVID is trying to wipe us all out.

  5. BLM

    No she is not racist to be proud for being white, she is racist because she uses the flag that represents racism. That flag is a symbol of slavery and oppression in this country. Educate yourselves on the topic and just maybe you could understand what people of color go through everyday. I really hope more people come out and post theses things so we know who not to keep in office!!! Disappointing.

  6. Abdul Saadiq

    1.) Madera County parents you need to email the entire board and ask them to take steps to remove this trustee from the board within 5 days.
    2.) If they fail to do so then file a complaint with the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights under a Title VI violation.
    3.) If you need help visit Save Your VI for instructions on how to file a complaint and your student’s rights under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

  7. N. Williams

    Educators are held to a higher standard, especially when your the Madera County Board of Education President. Her opinion need to be kept to her self. She is over the a district that servers children of all ethnicities. Her stance is on the Confederate flag is a clear indication of her views when she supports a failed attempt of a few states to leave the nation over slavery. She should step down so she can continue to share her opinion just not as an employee of Madera county .

    • Jeremy G.

      Hear that guy’s. They aren’t entitled to an opinion if they have certain jobs. Wow!!! Really?

      • Josie

        Others have explained it eloquently and you have ignored the salient point. I’ll try again. A public educator posting a picture of the confederate flag shows exceptionally poor judgment. The confederates actually took up arms and were willing to die to preserve slavery. The confederate flag stands for white supremacy. It’s no less inflammatory, racist, and unacceptable than a swastika. We hold educators to standards of equality and fairness so that all students may thrive. Get it now?

      • Josephine

        Oh ppl are entitled to their opinions – its how she expressed it that was problematic. We are all accountable for our actions & words. The 1st Amendment garauntees us the right to freely engage in protected speech* without threat of legal actions/persecution frm the government specifically. It does not protect ppl frm facing consequences/repercussions frm the general public, or an employer, etc. Because ppl also have the right to choose what kind of ppl they employ, and no one is obligated to have to tolerate or accept something they don’t want to frm someone else. If an employee is acting a fool making offensive or inappropriate statements then their employer has the right to terminate them – because they shouldn’t have to continue to be associated w/ someone like that, or have that person associated w/ the place they worked, making it look bad.

        Reasonable rational responsible adults should be aware of these things, be mindful of their conduct & words, and act accordingly.. Knowing that if they can & will be held to account for their actions & words. This applies to everyone, and it has always been this way.

  8. Teach4Hope

    Who is saying she should be ashamed? Nobody. Nothing is wrong with having pride in one’s heritage. However, combining that statement with the imagery of the confederate flag is an altogether different message. The confederate flag is a symbol of hate, lamentation over losing the battle to preserve slavery, and the white supremacy. As a leader of a school district- especially a diverse one, she is held to a higher standard. All educators are expected to be mindful of what they post online. A teacher would be forced out. Interested to see how this plays out.

  9. James Fri Sr.

    I hear the lady doesn’t even live in Madera County. At 88 years oldshe lives in Copper River to be closer to her son who lives in Fort Washington area. How can she be on a Madera County Board if she lives in Fresno County? Someone needs to knock on her racist door and figure out where she really lives.

  10. Heather

    I’m a teacher; we have a code of conduct, which includes things we can say on public forums. It’s literally written into the contract we sign upon getting hired.

    I don’t imagine these school board members are any different.

  11. Lion

    People find the flag a racist just like other find black live matter racist. She make a good point my post the flag. She is show them how black live matter racism make her feel. An to me black live matter is just destroying black history taking good roll models of products and putting down there history.the flag It part of my mix colorful heritage or mix race as some call it. Any slave live back then that still around. That a No. Black used the N word like it has no meaning so why cry about a flag they both mean the same thing to some people. You do know the civil war was more then just about slavery. Martin Luther was a monk who hated Jews and he fought for what he believed in for his religious. Martin Luther King change his name because he respected him. An to me black live matter disgraces Martin Luther King. He was for peace not violence. Africans sold Africans as slaves before America did but people still celebrate their African heritage. The flag is part of history you don’t distory history or you no different then those terrorist in the middle east destroying history because they don’t like the meaning. The Swastika was a ancient religious symbol of good luck. Until the Nazis used it. So should those religious group stop using the swastika. There is no flag , cultural or heritage that anti Staind one way or another. People need to stop blame other races for there problems. I hear people say my family blames other race for why they cant have a good job or live in a good area and stuff like that. An they all say it is them not the other races. An go on to say I have a good job, education and live in a good area my skin never held me back unless I let it. It the way you think that holds you back. I hear this from someone in every race. People can be proud of the skin or heritage no matter who they are. An using slavery is a joke every skin color was a slave at one time or another. They only slaves I see are people being brain washed by social media and the news. An not thinking for themselves. The New only cares about sale there new and the same thing for social media. An why is it ok you black live matter to be racist. But they have not proven any racism. They just look at skin color and yell rasim and that is being a racist. It no different then what the white supremacists say and do. Or any other racist group does. They blame other with no proof. If you judge anyone by there skin color you a racist . If she was any other color then white the post would matter. An believe me I have seen a lot of racism from every race or ethic groups on each other. I see black people disown there family for marriage outside of there color. That is also racist. I believe in one race and the the human race skin color does not
    matter. If your not a human then you must be a neanderthal. But I won’t hold that against you. I have seen more discrimination in my lifetime than most of you have over 40 years and you don’t see me stealing or rioting or acting like animals. An if you really want to stop violence and saving lives black people kill about half themself each year. Black on black violence need to stop more then anything if your racist movement is about saving lives. Clean up your community of violence first before blaming others. STOP LOOK AT PEOPLE’S SKIN COLOR AND YELLING RACISM THAT IS WHAT A RACIST DOES SEE SKIN COLOR AND STARTS DISCRIMINATING AND YELLING RACISM. You can stop hate or right discrimination by creating it. An that all I see then doing. That why I can support black live matters or any other racist groups and movement. I also do agree with percentage by racist math. I can turn that math around and make group of people look evil and some else can make it look like that same group is victims. I know justice is not far but that for all color. But justice is blind just like some people are to how unfairly racist they are

    • Josephine

      Question: Did you use voice-text to write that? Because the typos, and the composition of the comment, caused me to suspect it was something you spoke out loud rather than writing it by typing it out (??)

      Ppl will often critisize folks who post comments that are riddled w/ spelling errors, mistaken grammar, incorrect or absent punctuation, etc. But I’ve noticed that sometimes the reason for those things is simply that the person used voice-text, and things can get jumbled, or lost in translation, or appear as long run-on sentences w/ voice-text sometimes. So I wanted to give you the benefit of doubt on that, instead of assuming it was due to poor writing skills, or a problem w/ your ability to formulate & communicate cogent thoughts & ideas.

  12. Shauntayiah

    You Know What Some People Will Never Know What It’s Like To Be Black, Mexican, Native American Etc And I’ve Grown To Accept It But , If The Rolls Where Switched Nobody Would Last A Day In Each Others Shoes I’m Disgusted By The Fact That Their Are People Out There That Don’t See The Difference Between Right And Wrong Yes I’m Black , Yes I Get Racially Profiled , Yes I Feel Uncomfortable In My Own Skin , I Was Bullied For Being The Darkest One In My Class !! I’ve Been Called Many Names .. I’ve Been Told I Was A Burnt Cookie , Ive Been Told That I Was The Same Color As A Tire Skid Mark .. I’ve Been Told That I Was Charcoal, But That Didn’t Change How I View People , My Family Is Mixed With Different Races And I Love Them All For Who They Are , Y’all Don’t Know How Many Times I Ran Into Someone And They Where Afraid To Make Eye Contact With Me Because I’m Black .. Y’all Don’t Know How Much That Hurts A Person Feelings I Used To Cry Everyday As A Child Because I Didn’t Wanna Be BLACK !! Some Of You Have No Idea What It’s Like For Someone To Tell Your Nieces, And Nephews That Your Not There Auntie Because Your Black !! I Thought About Ending My Life Several Times As A Adult And As A Kid Because , I Didnt Wanna Be Hated Or Made Fun Of Cause I Was Dark Or Black !! But As I Got Older I Realised That Some Individuals In This World Will Never Understand That We Are All Made The Same!! , We Are All Human !!! And We All Want The Same Thing In Life .. And That’s To Live !! Thank You To Those That Know The Difference Between What’s Right And Wrong ❤️ And For Those Who Choose To Stand Against Us There Is No Love Lost I Pray That One Day You Will Realise That We All Have The Same Goal In Life And That’s To Be Equal And Treated Fair, And Before I End This Paragraph Keep This In Mind … When You Leave This World Keep In Mind That We Go Out The Same Way Whether You Choose To Be Buried Or Cremated Someone Some Where Is Buried Next To A Black Person , White , Hispanic Etc . And Somebody Somewhere Is Laying In A Freezer Right Next To A Different Race .. See My Point ….. I Choose To Spread Love Because I’m Tired Of Living In A World Full Of Hate And For Those Who Claim To Love God … Ask Yourself This … Do You Think He Will Be Pleased That Your Judging The Colour Of His Children’s Skin .. God Made Us In His Own Image Do You Think He Cared About What Race He Was Creating ?!?!No !!! Because We All Entered This World The Same And Like It Or Not We Gone Leave It The Same !!!!!!!!!!! Spread Love


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