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Pennsylvania school board member resigns after saying she was against voting for a 'cis, white male' for board president

Jennifer Solot, who has served five years on the school board for the Upper Moreland School District, apologized for her "poorly chosen words," the district said.

A Pennsylvania school board member resigned after saying last week at a meeting that she was against voting for a “cis, white male” for board president.

Jennifer Solot, a board member with the Upper Moreland School District, a suburb north of Philadelphia, made the comments during a Dec. 6 meeting after board members nominated two candidates for board president.

The nominees, according to a video of the meeting, were April Stainback and Greg D’Elia.

After saying D’Elia would make an “excellent president,” Solot said she was going to vote for the incumbent president Stainback.

Jennifer Solot at a school board meeting in Philadelphia
Jennifer Solot at an Upper Moreland School District board meeting in Pennsylvania on Dec. 6.Upper Moreland School District

“I feel that electing the only cis, white male on this board, president of this district, sends the wrong message to our community,” Solot said. “A message that is contrary to what we, as a board, have been trying to accomplish. I think that it is 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.”

Solot continued, “Mrs. Stainback has done an exemplary job as president these last few months, and the strength of her performance has earned her my vote tonight.”

Stainback garnered 8 of 9 votes to keep her position as board president, according to video of the meeting.

Cis is short for cisgender, a term referring to someone who identifies as the same sex presumed at birth.

In a Monday statement from district Superintendent Susan Elliott and School Board President Stainback, it was announced that Solot has resigned effective Jan. 2 following her comments at the board meeting.

Solot’s remarks made a “significant impact on the Upper Moreland Township School District and our entire community,” the statement said.

“As a result of this incident, Ms. Solot has decided to resign from the board effective January 2, 2023. She wishes to apologize for her poorly chosen words and does not want to be a distraction from the great things happening in our schools on a daily basis. The district thanks Ms. Solot for her five years of service to the Upper Moreland community as a board member,” the statement said.

Solot’s comments do not represent the board or district as a whole, the statement said.

The statement also said D’Elia took issue with Solot’s comments.

“Board Director Greg D’Elia, who was the subject of her comments, says that he ‘supports diversity, but these comments did not further diversity and reflected poorly on the community.’”

Solot and D’Elia could not be reached for additional comment Thursday afternoon.