Boston School Committee Chair Resigns After Racially-Charged Text Exchange


BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Boston School Committee Chair has resigned after a racially-charged text exchange came to light.

In the exchange, which was obtained by the Globe, Committee Chairperson Alexandra Oliver-Dávila wrote that she hated "WR," meaning West Roxbury.

Former Committee Member Lorna Rivera responded that she was "sick of Westie [West Roxbury] Whites."

The exchange happened during a marathon 9-hour school committee meeting in October, where members were discussing a change to Boston exam school admissions.

Rivera handed in her resignation on Friday, and Oliver-Dávila followed suit after a wave of condemnation from local officials on Tuesday.

City Councilor Matt O'Malley, who represents West Roxbury, said that although Oliver-Dávila called him to apologize, resignation was the right decision. "Insulting an entire community breaks trust & hampers the board’s ability to improve Boston’s public education," he said.

Mayor Kim Janey called the committee members "dedicated stewards of the committee and passionate advocates for Boston families," but said that she supported their resignations.

In a resignation letter, Oliver-Dávila apologized for her comments, and said that she felt "transported back to [her] youth" as a new immigrant in Boston by some of the comments made during the meeting in October. Oliver-Dávila said some public comments at the meeting brought her back to "deep shame" about her background, and abuse she received growing up in the city.

Other elected officials, including mayoral candidates and City Council Members Annissa Essaibi George and Michelle Wu, had expressed disappointment with Oliver-Dávila on Monday before her resignation, with Wu calling for her to resign.

WBZ's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports:

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Written by Chaiel Schaffel

(Photo: Getty Images)


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