JP school board member resigns amid social media controversy

Louisiana

An image of a university or school classroom taken almost from the floor, depicting a path between desks guiding to the old scratched green blackboard hanging on a wall.

JEFFERSON PARISH, La. (WGNO) — Following a request to resign, Jefferson Parish school board member Rafael Rafidi has stepped down just days after being sworn in.

On Monday, Rafidi announced his resignation from the school board, fulfilling the board’s request that he step down due to his behavior on social media.

The board cited Rafidi’s language towards teachers, along with people who opposed his ideological views.

In a statement, the JP School Board said:

We believe that these posts will continue to distract from the achievements we have realized during these challenging times and hinder our district’s goal of providing the education our students deserve. We strongly believe that the lingering effect of Mr. Rafidi’s provocative positions will render him ineffective as a District representative and School Board member, and we have asked Mr. Rafidi to resign.

Rafidi’s resignation was requested only days following his swearing-in as an interim board member on January 5, replacing District 6 board member Larry Dale.

In his statement announcing his resignation, Rafidi commented on his social media posts, saying:

“I love my country and am a steadfast patriot. My Palestinian and Honduran parents immigrated to this country with nothing but their faith and the American Dream. They raised me to be a devout Catholic, husband, and father and to love my country for the freedom it provides. I recognize that some of my past social media posts, representative of my passion for our country, may have offended others. For that, I am sorry.”

It is unclear who will replace Rafidi on the JP School Board.

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