A community advocate called on Kern High School District Trustee Mike Williams to resign his position Tuesday following a Facebook post the board member wrote calling a black community advocate a racist.
Williams, who wasn’t present for Tuesday’s monthly meeting, saw backlash from two members of the public who were critical of the post.
“I’m here to ask for his resignation,” said Libby Tracy, who spoke at Tuesday's meeting. “And I’ll be back next month to ask him for his resignation.”
Williams was traveling and did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday night. However, he did "like" a tweet from a reporter asking for comment.
The controversy began last month, when Williams posted on his Facebook page that he was “done with The Californian” after it published a regular opinion column by Danny Morrison, a community activist. In his column, he called President Donald Trump a racist.
In response, Williams called on KHSD to terminate all contracts with The Californian and break ties with the paper, including sports coverage and allowing employees to grant interviews to the paper.
He later emailed Superintendent Bryon Schaefer, ordering a report on everything KHSD does with The Californian, including “how much advertising we pay them, how we provide them sports information, how we allow them social privileges to webcast and otherwise cover games, educational projects and anything else we may have that we interface with them.”
“I intend to call for a motion at the next board meeting that I’m at,” Williams wrote in his Aug. 22 email obtained by The Californian through a California Public Records Act request.
Williams’ colleagues didn’t bother defending him Tuesday. In fact, they did the opposite.
Trustee Jeff Flores condemned Williams’ comments.
“The issues brought up tonight are serious,” Flores said. “He’ll have to answer for the comments he made, but I don’t share those views. All our groups throughout the district are welcome.”
Arleana Waller, a mother of two who also called on Williams to resign, saying he "didn't represent [her] community," described Williams’ remarks in his Facebook post as lacking “cultural sensitivity.” She alluded to comments she said Williams made that have since been deleted, then called on Williams to own up to his comments. The entire thread, which was shared and commented on hundreds of times, was deleted later.
“He is degrading a community that needs support,” Waller said. “I’m asking with you as a trustee to stand with the community. How do we fix this?”
Trustee President Bryan Batey stopped Waller.
“Come back next month and say exactly that same thing to Williams to his face,” Batey said. “I’d really appreciate that.”