The Interboro School Board issued a letter in response to the resignation of school board member Christine Alonso.
Alonso, a Glenolden Republican who served on the board since 2018 and most recently as its treasurer, resigned Thursday amid calls by the Delaware County Black Caucus, other elected officials and others for her behavior stemming from a counter-protest to an Aug. 1 Black Lives Matter march in Ridley Township.
On video, Alonso was heard saying, “I'm so racist, I fought for this country and every single one of you, but you're right, I'm the racist. I fought for you. I fought for you. Stay over there, ho. Stay over there. Go get your welfare check. I know you ain't got a job. Go get your f--- welfare check."
Alonso said her PTSD from serving in the Army in Iraq has been worsened by the coronavirus pandemic and she was following doctor’s recommendations to step down from her professional roles to focus on healing.
She denied allegations of racism but expressed regret at her actions at the rally in Ridley Township.
In a letter to the Interboro community, dated Aug. 13, the same day Alonso tendered her resignation, board President William L. Phelps Jr. along with board members Justin Shivone, Jack Evans, Edward Harris, Jennifer Varricchio, Glenn Goldsborough, Kelly Joseph and Danielle Fagan issued their response.
“The Interboro School Board and District is a diverse and inclusive community that condemns discrimination, hatred and violence of any kind,” they wrote. “The actions of the past several weeks have caused unfortunate divisions in our community to rise to the surface.
“Ms. Alonso’s actions by her own admission displayed at a minimum a lack of judgement and professionalism and at a maximum are interpreted as discriminatory,” the letter continued. “We agree and do not condone those actions. Additionally, we do not condone the hatred and bullying on social media that were directed at Ms. Alonso and us as board members.
“This situation,” they continued, “has caused an unfortunate distraction at a time when we could least afford to have one as we are dealing with this pandemic and trying to find a way to safely educate all of the students of the district.”
They spoke of Alonso’s time on the board.
“During her time on the board, Ms. Alonso was an excellent board member who contributed her life’s experiences and brought new perspectives to the thought process of the board,” the joint letter read. “At no time was there ever any hint of racism or discrimination in any of her comments or actions. The board respects and thanks Ms. Alonso for the service she provided not only to our community but to America as a whole.
“However,” they continued, “we ask Ms. Alonso to reflect and consider the best interest of the district during these challenging and unprecedented times.”
They then referred to the district mission statement, reading, “Interboro School District provides a challenging and supportive learning environment for all students to succeed academically, socially and emotionally while becoming college and career ready citizens within a global community.”
The letter then concluded, “As a board and district we will work tirelessly to continue to fulfill this mission for the betterment of our students and community. We ask all members of the community to work with us as partners for the success of our district.”