Posted on June 11, 2021

Boston Schools Chair Resigns Over Racially Charged Texts

Steve LeBlanc, Associated Press, June 8, 2021

The chair of the Boston School Committee resigned Monday amid criticism of racially charged texts she shared with another member of the committee disparaging families of students, city officials announced Tuesday.

The texts were sent during a committee meeting last October as the board was considering a proposal to temporarily drop the entrance test requirement to the city’s exam schools.

“Best school committee meeting ever. I’m trying not to cry,” school committee Chair Alexandra Oliver-Davila texted to fellow committee member Lorna Rivera, according to the texts obtained by the Boston Globe.

“Wait until the white racists start yelling at us,” Rivera texted back. “Whatever. They’re delusional,” texted Oliver-Davila. “I hate WR,” she texted Rivera again, a reference to the city’s West Roxbury neighborhood.

“Sick of Westie whites,” Rivera replied. “Me too. I really feel like saying that,” Oliver-Davila texted.

In her resignation letter, Oliver-Davila apologized for the texts and the hurt they caused.


Oliver-Davila cast the comments in the context of her personal history growing up in a city where she said was ostracized and teased, called racial slurs, spat on, and faced physical threats of violence.


In her resignation letter, Rivera didn’t mention the texts, but wrote about receiving “racist threatening emails and social media personal attacks” from those opposed to changes in admissions policies to the exam high schools.

“I am being targeted as a Latina gender studies professor who teaches about racism, patriarchy, and oppression,” she wrote. {snip}

Acting Mayor Kim Janey said in a written statement Tuesday that the texts were “unfortunate and unfairly disparaged members of the Boston Public Schools community.”

But Janey went on to praise Oliver-Davila and Rivera as “dedicated stewards of the committee and passionate advocates for Boston families.”