Heather Perry, superintendent of Maine’s Gorham School District, wrote in the April email that white applicants who are “not fully certified” seek positions in the school district out of a sense of empowerment. Gorham School District is located about two hours north of Boston and serves around 2,700 students. The email surfaced when Eric Lane, whose daughter attends school in the district, obtained it through Maine’s Freedom of Access Act (FOAA).
“We often do have candidates who are not fully certified apply, but I’ll be honest, that is often because they are white candidates who feel ’empowered’ to do so,” Perry wrote in the April 27 email.
The email was sent to local social justice advocate Farausi Cherry, who described himself as “BIPOC” in the email exchange and serves on the Anti-Racist Advisory Subcommittee of the Gorham School Committee.
Perry went on to write that when employers put “experience preferred” in a job posting, “some folks, especially those from marginalized populations are likely NOT to apply because they may feel unwelcomed.
“Bottom line…these are ALL THINGS I would LOVE feedback on from the Anti-Racism & Equity Committee,” Perry wrote.
After obtaining the email, Lane submitted a formal complaint about the superintendent to the school committee.
“Presuming to know the motives, background or character of an individual based on the color of his or her skin is racist,” Lane wrote in his Oct. 12 complaint to Gorham School Committee Chairwoman Anne Schools.
The father then met with the superintendent over a Zoom call to discuss her comment, during which Perry appeared to become testy.
Perry told the dad he was taking her comment out of context, according to a recording of the call viewed by The Daily Wire.
“I don’t see that we’re going to reach a resolution, and it’s time to end this meeting,” Perry said toward the end of the 10-minute meeting.
In an emailed comment to The Daily Wire, Perry emphasized that the district’s hiring practices are not discriminatory in any way.
“During my meeting with Mr. Lane, I explained that the Gorham School Department does not make employment decisions based on race and that our policies squarely prohibit such conduct,” Perry said.
Perry added that the email in question was about job postings and “how important it is for employers to cast a wide net for applicants to ensure a diverse workforce.”
This is not Lane’s first run-in with the superintendent.
Earlier this year, Perry told staff to make sure Lane had to jump through hoops to get posters about gender identity removed from his daughter’s sixth-grade classroom at Gorham Middle School. The superintendent emailed staff in April to “slow the process down” on Lane’s request.
In May, the dad spoke at a school board meeting and accused the school of a laundry list of offenses relating to forcing progressive gender ideology on students, saying the school is “encouraging children to be woke activists and fight for change.”
The father is calling for an independent investigation to “evaluate the level of corrupt behavior in this school district to restore faith in the staff.”
Lane is not the only parent to complain about the superintendent.
Other parents have also expressed their concerns about gender ideology being pushed on students as well as the superintendent’s comments about slow-walking parent requests.