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Chester County Press

U-CF School Board member Michael Rock resigns over ethnic intimidation issue

01/10/2017 02:27PM ● By J. Chambless

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

A simmering dispute over what he sees as the Unionville-Chadds Ford School Board's inaction over concerns from minority families in the district led to the abrupt departure of board member Michael Rock at the board's Jan. 9 meeting.

Reading from a statement, Rock said, “I remain stunned and dumbfounded by our continuing unwillingness to honor the heartfelt requests from several of our minority parents who asked us, following the [presidential] election, to send a letter to everyone in our community condemning in no uncertain terms the intimidation of our minority students, and offering our strongest commitment to support diversity and tolerance,” Rock said before resigning.

Rock criticized district superintendent John Sanville, saying that Sanville told a parent, “There is nothing the district can do to address their concerns in the absence of a specific and formal complaint that would be handled by our bullying policy,” Rock said.

Board president Victor Dupuis said that Rock should have formally submitted his concerns instead of resigning abruptly. Dupuis reiterated that the district has stated repeatedly that it is opposed to bullying or intimidation.

Rock said that he had hoped to remain on the board through the end of his term in 2017.

“I can not and will not serve on a board that does not have the common decency to comfort our minority parents in these trying times – especially since it is so easy to do,” Rock read from his statement. “There are times when it is important to stand up to racism and bigotry, even the quiet and unspoken kind that we are experiencing here, and say, 'No.' So I offer my resignation from the board.”

A replacement board member is expected to be selected in the coming weeks.