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Petition calls for "immediate removal" of Carl Paladino from Buffalo School Board

Anger with board member's comments on "Trump Tape"
Posted at 10:50 AM, Oct 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-10 18:51:21-04

A change.org petition is calling for Carl Paladino to be removed from the Buffalo School Board, following his reaction to a video showing Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump making lewd remarks about women in 2005.

In the video, obtained by the Washington Post and NBC News, Trump is heard talking about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women who were not his wife.  He has since apologized "if anyone was offended" by his words.

The authors are upset with comments Paladino made to the Washington Post.  The Post is reporting Trump's New York state co-chairman called Trump's comments "gutter talk" and something "all men do, at least all normal men."

Paladino also told the Post: "The only people concerned with this are Hillary people right now and the treacherous ones in the Republican Party.  The people in America look at this and say it's another day in the life of Donald Trump.  It doesn't matter to them."

Authors of the petition wrote that Paladino needs to be removed for the safety of students and women in the school district.

"It is not only evident that Paladino condones sexual assault and rape but he also openly tries to normalize sexual violence and make it a non-issue.  For the safety of all children and women working in the public school system, we ask that the Buffalo School Board remove Carl Paladino from his duties, and to reassure the parents and residents of the city of Buffalo that the leadership of the Buffalo School Board categorically rejects violence against women.  Allowing Paladino to remain on the Buffalo School Board makes the board complicit in normalizing rape and sexual assault."

Paladino stood by his earlier comments when reached by 7Eyewitness News.

"It's just gutter-talk," he said. "That's all it is.  99 percent of the time it's exaggerated or it never happened.  He's talking about his prowess, his sexual prowess."

Adrienne Hill is one of the petition's authors.  She wants people to realize the seriousness of Trump's words.

"I think that they've been miscategorized as lewd," she said.  "The problem is not that they're sexually explicit.  The problem is that they advocate and brag about sexual violence."

Many local parents are also upset with Paladino calling Trump's comments "normal".

"If you're sick maybe. But not your average guy.  That's my opinion," Jessica Hernandez, Buffalo mother of three, said.

Layne Vanderbeek lives in Kenmore with his two young sons.  He said he wouldn't let his children grow up speaking like that and disagrees that these discussions are normal among men.

"In my experience, any of my friends and most of the people I know would never have engaged in that kind of discussion anyway," he said.  "I think that's a lame excuse."

The authors of the petition also called out Paladino for his criticism of a proposed gender identity policy at Buffalo Public Schools.

They said his statements "show a critical lack of good judgment".

"He does not deserve a position to make decisions about school youth and should resign immediately."

By Monday evening, the petition had reached nearly 1,200 supporters.  You can read the full petition here.