Soneeta Mangra-Dutcher, a Johnston School Board member, spoke in support of Louis Fountain, the district’s new director of equity, inclusion and belonging.
Mangra-Dutcher noted that she is a person of color sitting on the board.
“Some of the messages that came through to me were absolutely offensive, hurtful and disgusting to come from our community,” she said. “It got to the point where I actually asked some people if they would be my bodyguards to walk into this building tonight. I was scared and scared for my children to drive around in the community because of a vote I might make.”
Mangra-Dutcher also said that she “feels the same way” as some of the posts that Fountain made — which included racist remarks about black Americans who are conservative as well as the police.
“I will say right here in front of everybody, there are places in the state that I don’t feel comfortable stopping in,” she said.
Mangra-Dutcher claimed that she stopped into a place in Iowa and was told they don’t serve people like her. She did not identify what place this was. She did not identify which places in these state she’s also not comfortable stopping in.
She took exception to people who maintain systemic racism does not exist.
“I’m sorry, it’s happened to me,” she claimed. “I know it exists and for that person to negate my experiences hurts.”
She said the district is making an “excellent choice” in hiring Fountain, who will make $90,000 a year in his new position.
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