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"Keep Lew-Port White" flyers circulate before school board elections

Posted at 10:56 AM, May 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-12 18:32:38-04

A racist flyer is circulating the Lewiston-Porter Central School District, endorsing two candidates for school board ahead of the election on May 16.

The flyer is titled "White Schools Matter" and calls on voters to "keep Lew-Port white", saying "the effort to keep blacks out of your community begins by keeping them out of the classroom".

You can read the full flyer here:

It endorses Betty VanDenBosch-Warrick and Sarah Roat Waechter for school board, claiming they've served "Lew-Port's white masters" and support keeping the schools "white".

VanDenBosch-Warrick took to Facebook to denounce the flyer, saying the attemp to connect her and Roat Waechter "to this hate group is deeply disturbing".

Her post says in part: "I emphatically denounce any group that spreads hatred and bigotry in our community. I have spoken out against racism, sexism and hate at every opportunity and will continue to do so."

The Lewiston-Porter CSD also condemned the flyers, describing them as "filth" and saying the district "will not tolerate racism in any way, shape or form". You can read full statements below.

Full statement from Betty VanDenBosch-Warrick:

"I have spent the past month talking to the Lew-Port community about how proud I am that we have four excellent candidates running for the Lew-Port school board. I thought we were past the flyers dropped in the dark of night, the Vanguard "newspaper", and the negative mailings.

In today's mail, many members of our community received a letter from "The Aryan Resistance" claiming to endorse myself and Sarah for school board.

The thought of anyone connecting me or Sarah to this hate group is deeply disturbing. I emphatically denounce any group that spreads hatred and bigotry in our community. I have spoken out against racism, sexism and hate at every opportunity and will continue to do so.

We all know where this flyer originated. Sarah and I only have one common enemy."

Full statement from Sarah Roat Waechter:

"I'm Sarah Roat Waechter and I am a candidate for the Lewiston-Porter Board of Education.  It has come to my attention through social media and from friends that a propaganda letter was distributed through US mail to area businesses and individuals. This propaganda falsely accuses me of having ties with the Aryan Resistance, which may or may not exist. At no time during my campaign or in my life, have I ever had contact with this hate group or any other hate group. I find this type of vicious attack to be disgusting with no place in our community. I have also fought for inclusion, equality and justice. This propaganda is designed for one purpose and one purpose only, to destroy me personally and my family by vilifying our reputation in the Lewiston-Porter Central School District and in other Western New York communities. It is my hope that the perpetrator or perpetrators are found and fully prosecuted.

I fully support Mrs. Betty VandenBosch-Warrick as she faces this same atrocity. She fights for inclusion, equality and justice just like me."

Full statement from Lewiston-Porter CSD:

"Recently our school district has been exposed to a vile and defamatory flyer that not only targets two of our board of education candidates, but our school district and the people it serves.

The flyer was brought to the attention of administration and the immediate response was one of disgust and condemnation.  As a school district that stresses the importance of acceptance and tolerance and celebrates and embraces diversity, this material sickens us.

We have been in contact with our school attorney and the District Attorney and should we discover the author of this filth, we will seek damages to the fullest extent of the law.  Lewiston-Porter School District will not tolerate racism in any way, shape or form. 

While we wish that in this day and age that we would not have to address such a vile issue, it is clear that this ugliness is still prevalent not only in our community, but across the country.  We are appreciative of the people who have reached out to us to share their thoughts and concerns.  We want to assure you that this hatred will not be tolerated at our district.  We will continue to foster a climate of respect, acceptance and inclusion for all and we will not stand for this.  Be assured that as a district and a community, that we will accept this challenge and hopefully come out stronger in the end."