Madera County Board of Education President resigns following backlash over social media post

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Madera County Board of Education President, Sara Wilkins, resigned from her position Thursday following backlash from the community regarding a controversial post shared to her personal Facebook page.

Wilkins released this statement to the Madera County Superintendent of Schools on Thursday:

"After 47 years of service to the children of my community, I have decided to retire and resign my position on the Madera County Board of Education."

This is a developing breaking news story. Our original report from yesterday follows below.

A Facebook post that appears to have been shared on the personal Facebook page of Madera County Board of Education President, Sara Wilkins, has caused controversy.

It shows a Confederate flag with the words, "I'm proud to be white. I bet no one passes this on because they are scared of 'be' called a racist."

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It shows a Confederate flag with the words, "I'm proud to be white. I bet no one passes this on because they are scared of 'be' called a racist."



And now that's exactly what many critics are calling the post on social media. Hundreds of people have even signed an online petition calling for Wilkins to step down.

Others have defended the longtime elected representative of Area 2, which includes portions of the Raymond-Knowles, Bass Lake, and Yosemite Unified school districts.

Dr. Cecilia Massetti sent ABC30 a statement saying, "I cannot speak for Mrs. Wilkins. These comments do not reflect the views of the Madera County Board of Education or the Madera County Superintendent of Schools."

This controversy comes after Central Unified trustee Richard Atkins resigned from his position during Tuesday's board meeting.

RELATED: Central Unified trustee resigns days after posting allegedly racist message on social media

He also faced backlash over a comment he made on Facebook saying, "If you don't love the country you live in, then go back to the country you or your ancestors came from."

"I think with any situation that communication has consequences," says Merced College Professor Lee Anne Hobbs. "Anyone can say what they want to say. They have that right, but I think in times like this, we have to be really careful in the consequences of how our communication is affecting people."

Hobbs has taught a course she created called "Intercultural Communication" for the past 20 years.

She helps students understand how their words can impact others and that sentiments shared on social media can never truly be taken back -- something she says also rings true for elected officials.

"You can apologize later, but the impact's been made," she said. "So I think we just really need to be thoughtful and careful in our communications these days."

ABC30 reached out to Sara Wilkins for a comment but has not received a response.
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