WENTZVILLE, Mo. (KMOV.com) - More than 4,000 people have signed online petitions condemning Wentzville school board member Sandy Garber's Facebook page and calling on her to resign or be removed from office.
"The amount of hate that is portrayed on this page is unacceptable as an example for the students in our community. And it just has to stop," said Julia Luetkenhaus.
Luetkenhaus is a teacher in the district and one of those who signed a petition. She claims Garber's Facebook posts violate the district's code of conduct.
Garber's page has many posts about protests and other issues and events in the news. On her page she calls the Black Lives Matter movement a scam, claims a judge ruled in favor of a transgender athlete because the judge was gay and calls the Democratic Party modern Nazis.
School Board President Betsy Bates told News 4, “I am saddened and disheartened that any representative of our district would choose to post ideals of prejudice or hate.”
Board Vice President Dr. Natalie DeWeese told News 4 she didn't support the posts and also said, “We are working with people who can give us guidance what to do.”
Reached by phone, Garber said that some of comments on social media have been misinterpreted and that she believes there were some things that were changed on her page.
"You know what, I don't have to prove that I'm not a racist to anybody, I can tell you I'm not a racist. I definitely am not. People can believe what they want but I have First Amendment rights," said Garber
The Wentzville School District issued a statement that said:
"The Wentzville School District is committed to providing a safe and healthy learning environment where students of all backgrounds feel included and respected. That is our responsibility as educators and we owe that to the families who entrust us with the education and safety of their children every day. This is an opportunity to talk about race constructively and respectfully in our schools and in our community. Director Garber’s views are her own and should not be viewed as those of the Wentzville School District or as a reflection of any District staff member. She is an elected official and our job is to work with the seven elected officials on the Board of Education. Please be assured that racism has no place in our schools, or on our campuses, as it goes against our core values and mission to provide a world-class education for all students."
The next school board meeting where the public will have the chance to comment will be held on July 16.