LEWISTON — School Committee member Kiernan Majerus-Collins has resigned to enroll in Boston University School of Law, according to his Facebook post Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s entirely straightforward,” the Ward 3 representative said in an interview. “There’s only one reason I am resigning from the School Committee and that is because I am going to be spending most of the next three years in Boston studying law.” 

Kiernan Majerus-Collins

Majerus-Collins’ said he will pursue a Juris Doctor degree, an academic credential that paves the way for a career as a lawyer. 

“In order to focus on my new academic endeavors, I will resign from most of my local public and political positions, including from the Lewiston School Committee,” he said.

Lewiston Schools Superintendent Jake Langlais said he had not heard anything from Majerus-Collins prior to his statement, but had his suspicions. 

“One thing that came up recently was … his name plate was missing from his holder,” Langlais said. “So last Thursday I asked him about it and he said, ‘Don’t worry about it, it’s not a big deal.’ I didn’t know what to make of that and so when I heard the rumor today that he might resign, it led me to believe that he did that a week in advance but I can’t conclude that.”

In an email Tuesday evening, Majerus-Collins told Langlais he was sending him his resignation later Tuesday.

In the statement posted online, Majerus-Collins mentioned topics he said he was influential in instituting, procedures changed and positive improvements to the School Department. 

As a School Committee member, I’ve taken on some tough fights, including my successful effort to reduce the number of school-based police officers and eliminate the D.A.R.E. program, and my recent campaign to ensure Lewiston Public Schools complies with CDC recommendations and requires universal indoor masking to keep students and staff safe during COVID-19,” he said.

“I also introduced and passed new policies to recognize the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, and to prohibit the expulsion of elementary school students,” he said. “I’ve consistently fought for a larger school budget, more support for teachers and staff, and a commitment to addressing climate change as a school district.”

Langlais said Majerus-Collins always fought for what he believed in. 

He was always willing to make his position known and state his opinion on that and I don’t think that that was wrong,” Langlais said. “Some people had different opinions. The conversations I did have with him I would say that he was true to being passionate with the kids and doing everything he could to give kids a better education. That was always his outlook.”

Majerus-Collins said, “I was on the Lewiston School Committee, I also worked as an elementary school librarian across the river in Auburn, and I have seen firsthand a lot of the obstacles that poor folks in our community and people of color in our community face getting justice and living a decent life. That’s why I’ve done what I’ve done in politics and government. As time went on, it became ever clearer to me that I needed stronger tools in my arsenal to fight for the values I care about and that I’ve dedicated my life to so far, and a law degree is going to allow me to do that.”

Majerus-Collins’ steadfast opinions and feelings on topics would sometimes get him into hot water with other members of the committee, Langlais said. 

“I think sometimes at times of conflicts with other members, that was really built around that level of passion for what he believed in and kind of navigating the procedures that exist in public session meetings,” Langlais said.

Majerus-Collins’s statement said he would miss some of his fellow committee members. 

Serving as a School Committee member has been deeply rewarding and profoundly frustrating,” Majerus-Collins said. “I will miss some of the people I’ve worked with a great deal, while others I won’t miss in the slightest.

“I hope my tenure has demonstrated that substantive progressive change in Lewiston is possible, and that the future of our city depends on our schools, he wrote. “Every Lewiston student deserves the educational opportunities I’ve had, and should be allowed to pursue their schooling as far as their dreams, talent, and hard work will take them.”

Majerus-Collins said he’s happy with his tenure. 

If I was concerned with people disagreeing with me I wouldn’t be going to law school,” he said. “I don’t mind it. I think people have lots of different perspectives and the great part of our system of government is we all have the ability to battle it out in the marketplace of ideas and then ultimately the public makes its decisions in who they’d like in public office. I’ve never felt anything other than lucky to be on the committee.”

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