School Committee Chair questioned over comments during hearing

Several community members and one City Councilor are calling out the comments made by School Committee Chair Michael Loconto at the eight-hour hearing Wednesday and into Thursday morning regarding some of the speakers calling on the Committee not to approve the plan.

When three speakers against the plan were announced, two of them with Asian names, Loconto appeared to allegedly mock their names in introducing them – though he disputed that later in the meeting saying he was referring to a children’s book character in a light moment.

“So, that was Shinya Shan Shan na and boo boo and David,” he said according to the live transcript – which was almost immediately taken Umbridge to by those watching.

Loconto wasn’t immediately available for comment on the matter.

However, Councilor Annissa Essaibi George indicated she heard it and issued a statement saying the comments were disrespectful and inappropriate. She asked for his resignation from the Committee.

“Mr. Loconto’s behavior last night was unacceptable,” said Essaibi George. “I’m deeply appalled, personally offended, by his words. I watched and heard it live. It is unconscionable that he would mock and disparage our families. Our school communities and our City deserve more. It’s time for his resignation.”

The comments came at around 11:30 p.m. in a meeting that began at 5 p.m.

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