A school board member from a northwest suburban Chicago school district resigned Monday after causing controversy over several tweets he made criticizing some participants of the recent women’s march.
Dathan Paterno, who until this week served on the Park Ridge-Niles School District 64 board, criticized some participants of the women’s march he saw on TV, calling them “vagina screechers,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
In the tweet that set some people off, Paterno said, “Most of those vagina screechers didn’t vote, but they mean business. Riiiiight. What a farce.”
The school board member also engaged in a back and forth with several upset Twitter users who challenged him. In one of his replies to an upset Twitter user, Paterno wrote that many on the left “never protested Clinton’s massive, chronic misogyny & sex crimes.”
Ultimately Paterno decided that his words were too harsh and had caused too much “damage,” necessitating his resignation.
Consequently, ahead of a meeting with parents to discuss his Twitter posts, Paterno handed in a resignation letter on Monday, January 23.
“In retrospect, they were inappropriate and pushed too far in some ways,” Paterno’s resignation letter read in part:
While I merely meant to harshly criticize some of the protesters [especially the very angry, hostile, vulgar and violent ones] and question the motives of some of them, my tweets were understandably misinterpreted to mean that I disrespect or hate all the protesters. Of course, this isn’t true, but the damage was done.
Paterno’s term on the board would have ended in April, and he had already announced he was not seeking re-election before the flap over his tweets forced his resignation.
He has also since also deleted his entire Twitter account.
Paterno works as a clinical director and his bio describes him as someone who “affirms that all people are biological, social, and spiritual beings. He believes that all of these are relevant in assessing and responding to a person’s struggles. To ignore any of these facets of the personality, then, would be to ignore an essential facet of a person’s being, functioning, and suffering.”
The Sun-Times also pointed out that Hillary Clinton attended grade school in the district in question.
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