In an unusual action, Superintendent of Everett Public Schools Priya Tahiliani used her allotted time on the School Committee agenda on Monday night to call upon Ward 3 City Councilor Anthony DiPierro “to step down” from office following the recent disclosure of racist memes that DiPierro had used on his Instagram account.
“I condemn the actions of Anthony DiPierro,” she said, adding, “I am offended by the racist content.” Tahiliani reminded the committee that the school budget is approved by the City Council and wondered whether the Everett Schools could be tainted in the scandal.
“We can do better and be better,” she added.
School Committee-at-Large member Samantha Lambert said that the community is hurting and that they are here to represent the 7,000 students of the public schools.
Student Representative Dyna Louis said, “We are a diverse community and deserve better.”
Committeeman Jason Marcus talked about his long relationship with DiPierro and his family and said, “I never saw any part of him like that,” adding, ”We should help him rather than beat him down.”
In other matters, the committee voted to send to the Rules Committee a motion to have Louis, the student representative, be able to add her motions to the School Committee’s agenda, rather than just being an observer who is only able to comment at the meeting.
“This is a phenomenal idea and I fully support the motion,” committeeman Michael McLaughlin said.
This motion was first discussed late last year, but the matter was not taken up by the then-school committee and it faded away without a resolution.
The committee as a whole echoed the support for expanding the role of Student Representative.
“We must do this properly,” School Committee Millie Cardello noted, though adding, “We must act quickly.”