School board member resigns after children with food allergies joke: ‘Just shoot them’
An embattled Michigan school board member has submitted her resignation after parents grew upset following an off-hand joke she made about children with food allergies during a board meeting, saying, “well, you should just shoot them,” reports WXYZ Detroit.
Linda Grossmann, 65, a bankruptcy court case administrator, who was appointed to the Clawson Public Schools’ Board of Education in 2013, submitted her letter of resignation following the uproar after a clip of her comment was posted online, leading to a Facebook campaign criticizing her glib comment.
During the discussion, referring to protecting about 20 students at Kenwood Elementary who have food allergies, Grossmann said, “well, you should just shoot them,” before throwing up her hands and laughing, as other board member laughed along.
School Superintendent Monique Beels said she attended the meeting, and and even though the comment was meant as a joke, everyone was “stunned and shocked.”
Beels also says she knows Grossmann and she is not the type of person who would mean that kind of comment.
According to a letter sent to the school board by the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team (FAACT), “Food allergies affect approximately 15 million Americans, including six million children.”
After noting that statistics show that every classroom contains approximately two students with food allergies, FAACT notes, ” In today’s times of school shootings and the increased awareness of bullying and the effects of bullying, it is astounding to hear any person in authority make such a cavalier, insensitive, and offensive “joke” about students with disabilities. We do not expect that such a remark would have been tolerated, much less laughed at, if it were made about students with other disabilities.”
According to Beels, Grossman’s resignation letter will be taken up at the next School Board meeting on Dec. 8.
Watch the clip of Grossman’s comment below, uploaded to YouTube by Business Detroit: