COWETA COUNTY, Ga. (CW69 News) -- Linda Menk, a member of the Coweta County Board of Education, responded by email to CW69's questions regarding her attendance at President Donald Trump's rally in D.C. on January 6, 2021 and calls for her resignation. A mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol following the rally, and five people died that day, including a Capitol Police officer.
In the email, Menk said she has no intentions of resigning. We asked what inspired her to attend the rally. Menk said, "The testimony of numerous Georgia citizens who testified under a signed affidavit of various voting irregularities, anomalies, issues with chain of command, etc. offered to the GA Senate Judiciary Committee during two hearings and the December 17, 2020 report after the first hearing issued by Senate Rep William Ligon."
She said she does not believe Trump incited the riot, but she did not indicate why. During the rally, Trump stated, "If you don't fight like hell you're not going to have a country anymore" and "We are going to the Capitol." He also asked supporters to "peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard."
Menk responded to allegations she was "amid the people that stormed Capitol Hill and stood on the steps as one of the most sacred buildings in our republic were desecrated. This is according to a post obtained from her personal Facebook page." We asked if the allegations were accurate. "Absolutely not," she said in the email. "I was nowhere near the Capital and I have witnesses who will corroborate this statement. I was in front of the Washington monument."
Below are the other questions and responses:
Do you support the insurrection of the U.S. Capitol? If so, why? If not, please explain.
I support the right of every American to peacefully assemble as outlined within the First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
How do you respond to this statement? "As a member of the Coweta County Board of Education, she is not only entrusted with the education of our children, but also expected to be a pillar of the community as well to uphold the values of the education system she helps oversee. As a community, we feel that she does not represent the values of this body, our community, or our democracy."
Protecting and exercising the First Amendment and the right of every LEGAL American to cast their vote LEGALLY, is probably one of the best examples I can set for our children. Every Board Member takes an oath of office that clearly states that you, as an elected official, will honor, preserve and protect the Constitution of the US and the State of Georgia. I have honored my oath of office.
There have been many complaints about your social media posts dating back to July 2020. What are your thoughts on the complaints?
Again, this goes back to the First Amendment. It's our right as American citizens to either agree or disagree with one another.
It is said your political and social views cloud your ability to make unbiased and fair decisions as a Coweta County School Board member. What is your response?
So far, out of the hundreds of responses I've received over the past 5-days, 85% of the people support and encourage me with the stand I've taken regarding the attendance to a peaceful rally.
Are the complaints and calls for your resignation an infringement on your right to freedom of speech? If so, how?
The citizens have a right to protest, however I suspect that those calls have been orchestrated. I do know I have detractors. Of course every citizen has a right to speak out on a public matter, and I support that. However, slanderous comments based on lies and misinformation with the intent to damage another person is against the board policy outlined in the form which all speakers were required to sign and adhere to. If that policy is violated, the person who made the comments and those who encouraged them to do so should be held legally accountable.
Who is the Linda Menk that the public should know, in terms of how you have served the community and worked to provide students with a quality education?
Since my campaign in 2013 for my first term, I made promises to the voters. I've not only honored every promise but I've listened to them and made myself available to assist with any issue they've encountered that supports and promotes the successful education of their children, their parental rights, prudent / accountable expenditure of their tax dollars, oversee the safety / maintenance / improvement of all school system assets, sought ways to engage with the home school / private school / charter school / faith based schools, listened to and supported our classroom teachers / para-pro's / SRO's / bus drivers / food service workers / maintenance staff, and worked to promote limited government intrusion that attempts to supersede the rights of parents in relationship to the education and emotional development of their children.
I have no intention of either forsaking or changing my promises.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: A group calling for Coweta County Board of Education Member Linda Menk to resign protested outside a school board meeting this week. Inside, parents also demanded her resignation in response to her attending President Donald Trump's rally in D.C., where a mob stormed into the U.S. Capitol.
They also condemned several of what they called extremist Facebook posts dating back to July. "Every parent that has a child in Coweta County Schools should be absolutely terrified," said one of several parents who spoke during the public comment part of the meeting.
The protesters are members of the Elite Youth Organization's Citizens for Positive Reform. They started one of the petitions for Menk's removal. As of today, more than 1,200 people have signed their petition. "She posted on one of the Facebook posts that she was looking at the people that were entering the Capitol," said Monique Sharpe, a spokesperson for CPR.
Sharpe said Menk didn't acknowledge the people who died and the damage caused during the insurrection. "Freedom of speech does not always mean freedom of consequence," Sharpe said. "For us to move forward, we do feel that she needs to resign from her position."
Menk had some supporters during the meeting. "I don't believe Ms. Mink, or any board member here or any school board member in the United States gives up their First Amendment right when they run for office," said one speaker.
Former School Board Chairman Amy Dees issued this statement:
Ms. Menk's comments are her own and do not involve the business of the school system, but as I stated last night, she is entitled to her first amendment right and can freely post what she chooses; however, I feel strongly that an elected official should be held responsible for the consequences of those posts. It saddens me that Ms. Menk continues to be a distraction to the school system with her continued disruptions. Her comments are her own and do not reflect the work going on in this district.
"Parents feel like she's not really representing the diverse population of Coweta County Schools," said Sharpe.
Menk did not immediately respond to CW69's request for comment, but later indicated by email she and her attorney would answer our questions in writing. During the school board meeting she said, "I don't apologize for it. I participated in a very peaceful rally in support of your protection, the protection of your right to vote."
Parents are also calling for an investigation into her attendance at the Trump rally.
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