Scott Huddle told parents at a school board meeting that there was no evidence of systemic racism exists

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio school board member, who disputed the existence of systemic racism in a meeting last week, has resigned as president of the Ohio School Boards Association.

Scott Huddle, a Mad River school board official, told parents at a school board meeting that there was no evidence of systemic racism exists and that society has improved since the time of slavery, Dayton Daily News reported.

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Huddle’s comments were in response to a school newsletter distributed with columns, poetry and discussion questions about diversity.

According to recordings, Huddle compared the newsletter to critical race theory, calling it “reverse race discrimination” and compared the articles to Nazi education.

After several objections from teachers, Huddle agreed to host a dialogue regarding systemic racism.

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“I obviously realize that my comments touched on some extremely sensitive issues and I want to be able to have a dialogue … and I want to listen to what other people have to say,” Huddle said. “I have heard from many people who have expressed their support and those who don’t.”

Huddle will be replaced by the current president-elect, Robert M. Heard Sr., a member of the Cleveland board of education.

“This is a time to come together,” Heard said. “We know that one of the advantages for public school students is the opportunity to meet people who are not like them — an experience that pays dividends long after high school. I look forward to building on OSBA’s successes, including being a champion of diversity, equity and inclusion.”

It is not immediately clear if Huddle resigned from his position as president or from the OSBA as a whole.

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