A social media post presenting misinformation targeting SAD 17 school board directors. Supplied photo

OXFORD — SAD 17 Board of Directors member Stacia Cordwell has decided to step down from the board according to a letter to the editor received by the Advertiser Democrat.

Her decision, she writes, is in part because of the “new game being played with School Board Directors, ‘vote how we want or we will have you removed’.”

She refers to the recall of the two Paris board members, Sarah Otterson and Julia Lester, which was prompted by the proposed gender identity policy ACAAA. In Paris, some 700 residents appear to have signed a petition calling for the recall vote which has been scheduled for Jan. 10.

On Monday night Board Chair Natalie Andrews announced that Lester had also resigned. The Advertiser Democrat reached out to Lester but did not hear back. Otterson told the newspaper that she has no plans to step down unless recalled.

Cordwell notes there will be no winners in that game, just losers – the children of the district. She writes she is unwilling to be bullied off the board.

“I was also shocked at the fact that voters are willing to remove two very dedicated Paris School Board Members without giving the Board a chance to come up with a solution that is agreeable to all,” her letter continued. “Intimidation and rumors of removing members who vote a certain way, where in that theory is what is best for Children’s Education?

“I have never run from a confrontation and I will not let bullies tell me how to vote nor will I allow them to decide when I leave.

“I have had the honor of listening to many voters in the Town of Oxford over this and issues in the past. They were respectful and stated their opinions without threats.”

On Monday, Dec. 5, the board voted to table the gender identity policy indefinitely while it reviews community feedback provided at a Nov. 1 forum and continues consideration of statutes and court decisions in respect to the policy.

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