Schools

Recall effort begins against Bourne School Committee member who made TikTok posts about race, gender

A campaign to recall committee member Kari MacRae was announced on Tuesday.

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A recall effort led by a former Bourne School Committee member is now underway against sitting committee member Kari MacRae, who came under fire in September for comments she made on race and gender on social media.

Anne-Marie Siroonian announced on Tuesday she is leading the campaign and intends to collect the required 250 signatures in the coming weeks to begin the official process, The Cape Cod Times reports.

“This is the very first step. We thought we’d announce the process,” said Siroonian, who served on the board from 2010 and 2018, including two years as chairwoman. “The wheels are in motion.”

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Siroonian said MacRae’s statements on the social media platform TikTok earlier this year prompted her to take action.

In those posts, MacRae said she ran for office to make sure students are not taught critical race theory, that the country was built on racism, or that they can choose their gender. In addition, she posted transphobic memes and said she would not use they/them pronouns for other individuals because she is not going to be “a liar” and say someone is “plural.”

The Bourne Educators Association, the local teachers’ union, voted unanimously to call for MacRae’s resignation, and others in the community have echoed that.

But MacRae, elected in May in an uncontested race, told the committee she would not step down and instead said she has been the target of “reckless and false charges and innuendo.”

Siroonian said Tuesday the social media posts are “just rooted in hate,” according to the Times.

“You were elected to serve the students of our community,” she said. “Bourne is an inclusive community. That’s not what we’re about.”

She told the newspaper the comments “have scarred the students and staff in our school district.”

“It’s not too late to do the right thing and remove herself from the table and allow our students and staff to heal,” Siroonian said.

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MacRae, now also a candidate for state Senate, told the newspaper that if someone wants to recall her, “that’s their constitutional right to do so.”

“I say exercise your right, and we’ll go through the process,” she said. “I’m still not going to resign. I’m still going to stay an active member.”

MacRae was fired from her teaching job in Hanover in the fall, according to the Times.

Judicial Watch, a conservative advocacy group, filed a civil rights lawsuit on Nov. 29 in Massachusetts federal court alleging MacRae was fired as retaliation for social media posts objecting to the teaching of critical race theory in schools, despite her right to free speech, the newspaper reports.

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