Social media post questioned in Williamston recall

Posted at 8:53 PM, Oct 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-31 20:53:15-04

For all the attention the races for Michigan governor and U.S. Senate are getting, the most heated campaign may be a small-town school-board recall.

Four members of the Williamston School Board could lose their positions because they voted for the district's transgender-student policy in 2017.

Some parents in favor of the policy told FOX 47 News the people who support the recall and are running for the board say one thing in public, but send another message on social media.

"We have screenshots of them and it's just a lack of consistency and that makes me worry that, in fact, what is driving the recallers is hatred and fear. Hatred and fear for people that are not like them," said Julica Herman de la Fuente.

Williamston parent Julica de la Fuente is referring to controversial posts on Facebook. Part of one post from 2017 reads "if you think you are a woman trapped in a man's body you are wrong."

It was "liked" by Karen Potter, who's running to force board member Greg Talberg out of office. De la Fuente told FOX 47 News this proves the recall is about discrimination.

"They confirm my worst fears; they make me worry for the safety of my child and for trans children," said de la Fuente.

Potter didn't seem to understand why News 10 asked her about the post; she wanted to know what we were implying.

Williamston's school board adopted the transgender policy in 2017. The policy requires the district to accept the gender identity of a student's choosing.

Four of the six board members who voted "yes" are now facing a recall. The people supporting have previously said that the policy creates a special program for transgender students that are not available to everyone else.

But de la Fuente and other opponents of the recall think there's something more behind it.

"I was shocked; I couldn't believe this was happening. I watched it develop and I attended the meetings. I felt such hatred in the room for people who identify as gay and transgender," said de la Fuente.

One board member who voted for the policy resigned the next day.

Another is not running for re-election. This is why there are only four of the six "yes" votes are facing the recall.