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Mayor De Blasio Sounds Off On School Board Member's Use Of Racial Slur

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - There's an update on a Brooklyn school board member who used a racial slur to describe Asian Americans.

After learning about the incident, more city leaders say she needs to step down.

More than 100 Asian Americans and City Councilman Chaim Deutsch were riled up at a school board meeting in Gravesend Tuesday. Elected Community Education Council 22 member Jackie Cody was on stage.

Back in September, in an online forum for school leaders, she wrote the following about the mayor's plan to eliminate standardized tests for specialized high schools: "To be blunt, certain whites and certain yellow folks on this listserv continue to focus on a very narrow view... what they're advocating for is damaging to white and yellow children as well."

Jackie Cody
Jackie Cody (Credit: Lina Chen)

"It sounds very insensitive to me. It's not something I think anyone should say," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "I think if the chancellor hears about it, knowing the chancellor, immediately the chancellor would say that's inappropriate and wrong, and that individual should apologize."

"I honestly do not know and I will find out today what the chancellor's abilities to remove an elected official are," he added.

CBS2's Lisa Rozner waited outside Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza's office Thursday to see if he would take five minutes to speak with her about the issue. She was told multiple times he was not available.

Later that evening, a spokesperson sent a statement from Carranza, saying, "This comment was unacceptable and doesn't meet the high standards to which I hold our parent leaders."

A spokesperson previously told Rozner the agency was "deeply disappointed" by the "unacceptable remark," but the agency has limited oversight in addressing the conduct of school board members.

Education Council Chairman Mark Treyger said that's not true.

"Albany just granted the mayor and chancellor extension of mayoral control," he said. "I don't see how she can effectively continue to serve."

Cody did apologize at this week's board meeting, but the Asian Americans in attendance said it felt insincere, and they're concerned about her representing the 20 percent of Asian Americans that reside in her school district.

The co-chairs of the volunteer consortium that oversees the school boards says the community voted her in and she can not be removed.

"We need to look at how do we heal from this? How do we bring everyone together from this?" said NeQuan McLean of the Education Council Consortium.

He added Cody did resign from the steering committee last month.

Rozner tried to reach Cody again Thursday. She did not return her calls.

The chancellor's spokesperson did not respond when Rozner asked if he requested Cody resign.

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