MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The head of Columbia Heights’ teachers union has called on an embattled school board member to denounce anti-Muslim comments attributed to him on social media or resign.
Grant Nichols had admitted to Columbia Heights’ school board chairman that he is responsible for posting these comments about Muslims on his Facebook page in early September:
- They are just unsanitary by bringing water into a bathroom and making a mess. Besides washing their feet, armpits in the sinks in the bathrooms. They leave it a mess and no one says anything about that?
Residents, students and teachers have protested against Nichols, and dozens attended a school board meeting Tuesday night where members voted 3-2 in favor of having Nichols resign. The vote was non-binding, and Nichols did not step down.
Columbia Heights Local #710 President Carl Lightbody released a written statement Thursday, where he called Nichols’ comments “troubling.”
“Mr. Nichols has denied making these statements. If he did not make the, he should join the community in specifically denouncing the content of the statements,” Lightbody said. “However, if he did say those things, the teachers of Columbia Heights Local #710 call for his immediate resignation from the board of education.”
Gov. Mark Dayton has also weighed in on the controversy, calling for Nichols’ resignation himself. He even visited Columbia Heights High School as a sign of support to student protesters.