A New Jersey school board member received a vote of “no confidence” from his colleagues despite apologizing for calling Vice President Kamala Harris a “street walker,” according to reports.
Linden school board officials voted 4-2, with two abstentions, against colleague Gregory Martucci on Thursday night, MyCentralJersey.com reported.
At the same meeting, some members of the public called for Martucci’s resignation, according to the report.
Martucci attended the meeting but made no comment, a district spokesperson told the news site.
Earlier this month, Martucci responded in the comments section to a recent Facebook post on Harris and immigration by conservative comedian Terence K. Williams, according to reports.
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“She’s right next to the winged streets of San Francisco, what do you expect from a street walker who has no idea of America,” Martucci replied, according to New York’s WNBC-TV.
But after Martucci’s online comment elicited a strong reaction from the town’s mayor and other members of the community, he apologized, MyCentralJersey.com reported.
He wrote that his post “does not reflect who I am in my private and public life”.
“My actions so far have always reflected positive support for all women and all cultures,” Martucci continued, according to the media outlet. “I assure you that I will continue to support all women and all cultures.”
“I assure you that I will continue to support all women and all cultures.”
Linden Mayor Derek Armstead spoke out against the insult made by Martucci, who has served on the school board since 2017 and was previously a member of city council.
“I mean, what message are you sending to our young people? That Kamala Harris is a ‘wingnut’ or a prostitute, which basically means a prostitute. Let’s clean the air here,” the mayor said, according to WNBC.
“I will do everything humanly possible to make sure that we don’t have people who think this way on our boards of directors who represent our children and represent the city,” added the mayor.
Armstead was asked if Martucci should step down from the board.
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“Yes, I will help him to leave”, replied the mayor, according to WNBC.
Community activist Cleadel Waye also opposed Martucci’s post, according to the report.
“He degraded her, for what purpose?” Why ? Waye asked. “For me, as a woman of color, as a black woman, as an African American, I find this very upsetting. I don’t take it lightly because words matter.”
Superintendent of Linden Schools Marnie Hazleton told NJ.com that the matter was under consideration.
“At this time, we have no further comment regarding this matter,” Hazleton said, according to the report.
Martucci, a retired school administrator and teacher, receives an annual pension of $ 133,503, according to state pension records, NJ.com reported.