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Lakota Schools community protest board member's antisemitic comments

Members of the Lakota Schools community protest outside the school board meeting
Zack Carreon
/
WVXU
Members of the Lakota Schools community protest outside the school board meeting

Outside a Lakota Local School Board meeting Monday, community members protested a Facebook post by board member Darbi Boddy.

Boddy made the post last week criticizing Lakota's hiring practices. In the post, she used antisemitic language and claimed the district promoted segregation by preferring to hire candidates based on their race.

"She's just here infecting the place," Former Lakota student Antonio Serrato told WVXU. "She's just doing unnecessary things that are just not benefiting anyone except for the people who are just filled with hate in their hearts."

Many of those who came to protest say Boddy has continued to sow division within the community by using insensitive language and attempting tointroduce new policies that target the school's minority population.

Lakota parent Alyssa Louagie says the rest of the board has done well to stop Boddy's efforts from gaining any traction.

"For the most part, it's mostly been a distraction and not an actual threat to a lot of the policies here because it is one member of the board and not a majority," Louagie said.

Boddy has continued to push on despite detractors.

The meeting's agenda included a motion she put forward calling for the district to end its connection with diversity, equity, and inclusion programs and to stop intentionally
hiring by race. The rest of the board struck down that motion.

During the meeting, Board President Lynda O'Connor denounced Boddy's use of antisemitic language. Citing the school's hiring policy, she also callied Boddy's claims baseless.

"There's nothing in these documents that supports the claim that we openly seek to hire using racial preferences," O'Connor said. "What evidence does Mrs. Boddy have to support that statement? I personally in my almost 16 years on the board have never seen Lakota involved in the practice of hiring based on any areas that are lawfully considered discriminatory."

Following Boddy's posts on social media, O'Connor says Rabbi Ari Jun from the Jewish Community Relations Council in Cincinnati reached out to Boddy via email to explain to her why her comments were offensive. The two were unable to see eye-to-eye on the issue, however.

Jun attended Monday's meeting and sat in the audience. Boddy repeated the antisemitic language in front of him.

The discussion over Boddy's Facebook posts overshadowed the presence of Lakota's new Interim Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli, who made her first appearance at one of the district's board meetings.

Lolli, who is expected to officially start her new position later this week, did not comment on or reference any of board member Boddy's posts during the meeting.

Lakota's next school board meeting is August 7.

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Zack Carreon is Education reporter for WVXU, covering local school districts and higher education in the Tri-State area.