Pennsylvania School Board Director Steps Down Following Backlash From Discriminatory Comments

An Upper Moreland School District (UMSD) school board director has stepped down from her position after a video of her discriminatory comments in a board meeting went viral.

Jennifer Solot, who served as treasurer of the district’s school board, announced at a reorganization meeting last week that she would not be voting for one of the candidates for board president because he was the only “cis, white male,” even though she stated he would make an excellent candidate.

Solot’s viral comments were made before the board took its vote to decide on one of the two candidates for board president:

“I believe that Mr. D’Elia would make an excellent president. However, I feel 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,” she stated.

The video has made its rounds across social media and news outlets for its blatant discrimination against the qualified candidate Greg D’Elia.

The UMSD board issued a statement on Monday to address the comments that were made and announce Solot’s resignation.

The statement, signed by board president April Stainback and superintendent Susan Elliott, shared an apology from Solot for her poorly chosen words and stated that she “does not want to be a distraction from the great things happening in our schools on a daily basis.”

The statement claimed Solot’s comments were “solely hers and were not intended to represent the opinion of the entire UMSD Board of Directors or the district as a whole.”

“Board Director Greg D’Elia, who was the subject of her comments, says that he ‘supports diversity, but these comments did not further diversity and reflected poorly on our community,’” the statement went on to say.

The board emphasized its focus on nondiscrimination across its schools and classrooms and noted its value of full diversity “without discrimination on basis of race, color, age, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, ancestry, national origin, marital status, pregnancy, disability, or gender identity.”

The statement concluded by saying, “Likewise, in all staffing positions in the district, we hire the most qualified person for the position and do not discriminate.”

The board’s all-encompassing list of individuals they don’t discriminate against must have bypassed the desk of Solot.