Last Updated on December 11, 2022

The Upper Moreland School Board recently rejected a candidate for board president after one member complained that electing a “cis, white male” would send the “wrong message” and contradict the board’s goals.

Only two candidates were up for the presidential position on the Montgomery County, Pennsylvania school district, Greg D’Elia and April Stainback. Prior to the vote, Upper Moreland Board member and Treasurer Jennifer Solot announced her opposition to D’Elia’s candidacy based on his immutable characteristics.

“I believe that Mr. D’Elia would make an excellent president,” Solot said. “However, I feel that electing the only cis, white male president of the board of this district sends the wrong message to our community — a message that is contrary to what we as a board have been trying to accomplish.”

“I think it’s important that we practice what we preach, and that our words have strength when they are spoken, whether we speak them from the neighborhood sidewalks or from behind these tables,” the Upper Moreland School Board member added.

The board then elected April Steinback by a vote of 8-1, with Mr. D’Elia voting for himself. The board member who nominated D’Elia, who is unknown currently because they were not on camera when the nomination was made, ultimately did not vote for the candidate they nominated, Broad and Liberty reported.

Some of the board members appeared torn prior to the vote, with members Rose Huber and Sarah Byrnes taking a pause before casting their votes. It is unclear whether their decisions were influenced by the statement made by Solot.

According to Public School Review, 76% of Upper Moreland’s current student body consists of white students, though Solot believes electing a white board president would “send the wrong message.”

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