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Bourne School Committee member says she won’t resign over her social media posts

Kari MacRae says she has been the target of “reckless and false charges and innuendo.” 

The member of the Bourne School Committee who is under pressure from the town’s teachers’ union to step down over comments she made on social media about race and gender said this week she will not resign.

Kari MacRae, who was elected in May in an uncontested race, told the School Committee during a packed meeting Wednesday night she will not vacate her position, The Cape Cod Times reports. Instead, she told the audience she has been the target of “reckless and false charges and innuendo” related to her social media posts.

According to the newspaper, MacRae’s comments were not well received, and she got no support from the School Committee during the meeting, during which there were renewed calls for her resignation from teachers, students, and community members. After public comment, the committee went into executive session to discuss the situation and did not return to the public meeting.

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In posts on her TikTok account, MacRae said she ran for office to ensure students aren’t being taught Critical Race Theory, that the country was built on racism, or that they can choose their gender. She also posted transphobic memes and said she won’t use they/them pronouns to refer to an individual, only their name, because she’s not going to be “a liar” and say someone is “plural.”

The teachers’ union, the Bourne Educators Association, has voted unanimously to call for MacRae’s resignation.

“First and foremost it’s about our students, and we have a number of students that are in the LGBTQ+ community,” AnnMarie Strode, BEA president and a history teacher, told Boston.com earlier this week. “As educators, it’s important we stand for our students. They are in a vulnerable position at this age in trying to figure out who they are, and where they’re going, and what they’re doing. The memes that were posted were really anti-transgender — there was a pattern of that — and as a union, we had to stand for our students.”

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Both the union and district are focusing specifically on MacRae’s comments about gender and not her comments about Critical Race Theory since the state’s curriculum doesn’t include Critical Race Theory.

Previous to her statements to the committee on Wednesday, MacRae sent a statement to the Times in which she apologized “for anyone feeling offended.”

“I decided to run for the school committee to give back to my community that I love and have been a citizen of my whole life,” she said in her statement. “Since being sworn in on May 19th, I have been engaged, excited and have learned so much. I now feel that I have let some down.”

The School Committee does not have the authority to remove a member, so if MacRae does not resign, a recall election would need to be organized for her to be removed from her position.

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