Earlier this month, the Upper Moreland Township school board in Pennsylvania made news for a seemingly discriminatory statement by one of its members.
As the panel prepared to vote for its next president, Jennifer Solot explained why she would not be supporting Greg D’Elia despite her belief that he “would make an excellent president.”
She asserted that “electing the only cis White male president of the board of this district sends the wrong message to our community — a message that is contrary to what we as a board have been trying to accomplish.”
Following her remarks, D’Elia lost his bid to become president by an 8-1 margin. When even the member who nominated him ultimately voted for the other candidate, the only vote in his favor came from D’Elia himself.
He later addressed the controversy, noting that while he “supports diversity,” he believes his colleague’s “comments did not further diversity and reflected poorly on our community.”
Solot’s rejection of a qualified candidate because he did not check off enough diversity boxes led to a widespread backlash against her on social media. Days later, the school board announced that she had tendered her resignation effective early next year.
April Stanback, the incumbent board president who defeated D’Elia in the recent election, signed the statement along with Superintendent Susan Elliot.
BREAKING: @UpperMorelandSD board member Jennifer Solot has resigned following her comments that a “cis white male” shouldn’t be board president because “it sends the wrong message.” https://t.co/BxJYZgfyOy pic.twitter.com/0xDhyvRVdE
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) December 12, 2022
Solot “wishes to apologize for her poorly chosen words and does not want to be a distraction from the great things happening in our schools on a daily basis,” the announcement explained.
Furthermore, the statement acknowledged that her remarks were “solely hers” and did not represent the values of the district, which prioritize “the full diversity of the community we serve and help all students and staff achieve success without discrimination on the basis of race, color, age, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, ancestry, national origin, marital status, pregnancy, disability, or gender identity.”
The announcement went on to thank Solot “for her five years of service to the Upper Moreland community as a board member.”
Reports of discrimination against White males is nothing new as organizations and businesses strive for increased diversity. Last year, one of the world’s most influential investment firms reportedly implemented a policy requiring hiring managers to receive permission from their bosses to hire a White man for any position.