In the Apr. 27 email, Heather Perry, superintendent of Maine’s Gorham School District, wrote that white applicants who are “not fully certified” look for jobs in the school district because they feel empowered, according to the Daily Wire.
Gorham School District is just two hours away from Boston and serves around 2,700 students.
The email became available to the public after Eric Lane, whose daughter attends school in the district, obtained it through Maine’s Freedom of Access Act.
“We often do have candidates who are not fully certified apply, but I’ll be honest, that is often because they are white candidates who feel ’empowered’ to do so,” Perry wrote.
“[When an employer puts] experience preferred” section in a job posting, “some folks, especially those from marginalized populations are likely NOT to apply because they may feel unwelcomed,” Perry wrote.
“Bottom line…these are ALL THINGS I would LOVE feedback on from the Anti-Racism & Equity Committee.”
After Lane got the email, he submitted a formal complaint about Perry to the school committee.
“Presuming to know the motives, background or character of an individual based on the color of his or her skin is racist,” he wrote in his Oct. 12 complaint to Gorham School Committee Chairwoman Anne Schools.
Lake then had a chance to talk to Perry over a Zoom call about her racist comments. Perry became belligerent during the conversation, declaring that Lake took her comment out the context.
“I don’t see that we’re going to reach a resolution, and it’s time to end this meeting,” she said toward the end of the 10-minute meeting after being pressured by a concerned parent.
In a comment that Perry emailed to the Daily Wire, she emphasized that the district’s hiring practices are not discriminatory at all.
“During my meeting with Mr. Lane, I explained that the Gorham School Department does not make employment decisions based on race and that our policies squarely prohibit such conduct,” she said.
“[The email was about job postings and] how important it is for employers to cast a wide net for applicants to ensure a diverse workforce.”