Sara Wilkins, the Madera County Board of Education President, resigned from her position on Thursday after intense backlash from the community following her controversial Facebook post on her personal page.
On Thursday, she sent a statement to the Madera County Superintendent of Schools saying: “After 47 years of service to the children of my community, I have decided to retire and resign my position on the Madera County Board of Education.”
Her controversial post featured a picture of the Confederate flag with the words: “I’m proud to be white. I bet no one passes this on because they are scared of ‘be’ called a racist.”
The post was quickly slammed, with many calling her a racist. An online petition calling for her resignation was set up, and was signed by hundreds of people.
Dr. Cecilia Massetti told ABC30 in a statement: “I cannot speak for Mrs. Wilkins. These comments do not reflect the views of the Madera County Board of Education or the Madera County Superintendent of Schools.”
Wilkins resignation comes after Richard Atkins, Central Unified trustee, resigned from his position during a board meeting held on Tuesday.
Atkins was slammed for his Facebook post that stated: “If you don’t love the country you live in, then go back to the country you or your ancestors came from.”
Merced College Professor Lee Anne Hobbs stated: “I think with any situation that communication has consequences. Anyone can say what they want to say. They have that right, but I think in times like this, we have to be really careful in the consequences of how our communication is affecting people.”
For the past 20 years, Hobbs has taught “Intercultural Communication,” a course she created.
She helps her students understand the impact their words have on others, and how sentiments shared on social media can never be taken back.
She said: “You can apologize later, but the impact’s been made. So I think we just really need to be thoughtful and careful in our communications these days.”
Wilkins has yet to make a statement about the incident.