A Las Vegas school board member has apologized for using an offensive phrase during a meeting on Thursday.
Danielle Ford, a trustee of Nevada’s Clark County school district, posted a video on Facebook to apologize for using the phrase “colored students” during the meeting about race-based threats at school, as Las Vegas’s Fox 5 reports.
“The other one is the safety of colored students, in general… These are two different conversations,” Ford said at the time, prompting outrage from parents.
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“I would like to say a few things regarding a comment I made at the school board meeting on April 11th,” Ford says in the video. “I used a word that I know is extremely hurtful to a lot of people. And for that, I am deeply sorry.”
Ford went on to acknowledge that she’s caused distress to others with her comments. “I have offended a very hurt and marginalized community, and I wish I could take it back,” the trustee said in her Facebook video. “Words do hurt. And I understand the history and the painful significance around what I said. The school board sets the tone for the entire district. And I intend to use this mistake as an opportunity to improve my interactions, and to help other people to do the same.”
The video brought in more than 200 comments, and the reactions are mixed.
“I often wonder if she is sorry for saying it or allowing it to come out at that moment and not in private,” one person wrote.
“Honestly I don’t think you said anything out of place but with everyone being so sensitive nowadays. People get over it. No one is perfect,” another person commented.
“You need to get educated before you are worthy of managing anyone else’s education,” another comment read, in part.
The school board also issued a statement about the incident, which caused several people to walk out of the meeting. The statement reads, in part:
“We are disappointed in the hurtful terminology that Trustee Ford used last night when discussing racial tensions at one of our high schools. We understand the significance of that word and why the use of it is painful. The Board… adopted a policy requiring that all Trustees will complete implicit racial bias and cultural competency training as soon as possible.”
— CCSD (@ClarkCountySch) April 13, 2019
Some also called for Ford’s resignation on Twitter.
Las Vegas school board trustee Danielle Ford, you need to step down after that comment. If you’re still “working on your own implicit bias” then you need to do it… https://t.co/EWttj878Nu
— D'Artagnan J. Young (@Dartagnan1986) April 12, 2019
Danielle Ford needs to be replaced immediately…
— dwayne jones (@betonvegas) April 14, 2019
@ClarkCountySch Trustee Danielle Ford need to step down from her position.
— Chante Warren (@warren_chante) April 13, 2019
This week’s incident isn’t the first time Ford has faced criticism from the community. Before Ford became a trustee of the school board, she participated in an interview with a local news outlet last year, where she addressed a social media video she’d posted about “how to attract and keep a man.” At the time, Ford said that she’d intended for the video to be “empowering young mothers.”
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