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Parents call for La Mesa-Spring Valley Schools board member to resign after comments on racism

Posted at 5:56 PM, Feb 25, 2021

LA MESA, Calif. (KGTV) — Some La Mesa-Spring Valley School District parents are calling for Board Vice President Charda Bell-Fontenot to resign following comments made during a recent school board meeting.

During a recording of the meeting on Tuesday, members were set to discuss when and how to bring kids back into the classroom. During the virtual meeting, Bell-Fontenot is heard making comments on racism and white supremacy.

"That seems like a very white supremacist ideology, to force people to comply and conform, just letting you know. Privilege, check it you guys," Bell-Fontenot is heard saying.

Hundreds of parents were watching, including Spring Vick and Mai Teague.

"I feel she should have been a little more professional," said Vick.

"Very condescending tone, just talking down to everyone and resisting what anyone had to say," Teague added.

As the discussion continued about going back to school, Bell-Fontenot says, "I don't want to be a part of forcing anyone to do anything they don't want to do. That's what slavery is, I'm not gonna be a part of it."

Later in the meeting, a fellow board member says, "You keep throwing out the racism but I'm Hispanic ... I don't understand that part either, I'm confused, that's it."

Both Vick and Teague say they were shocked at the words being used.

"All these terms referring to going back to school I don't see the relevancy at all in it," said Teague.

The mothers also tell ABC 10News they want their kids back in school and so do many other parents. La Mesa-Spring Valley Superintendent David Feliciano issued a statement on behalf of the board, reading in part:

"While we were also disappointed and offended by trustee Fontenot's behavior, we were saddened to learn that she has received hateful, racist, and threatening communications as a result. We strongly condemn behavior that is racist, discriminatory or threatens violence of any kind."

It's unclear who send those messages, but those ABC 10News spoke with say they simply want Bell-Fontenot to resign and have started a Change.org petition.

"Someone who has her own personal agenda is not looking out for the best interest of the community and she should not represent the schools at all," Teague said.

ABC 10News did try to reach Bell-Fontenot for comment on this story but our requests were not answered.