PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A David Douglas School District board member is under fire for comments he made about sanctuary cities when the school board voted on an inclusion resolution to safeguard students.
Parents are calling for Bryce Anderson to step down, but he says he isn’t going anywhere. Stepping down is the “last thing I’d ever do,” the self-proclaimed conservative told KOIN 6 News.
The inclusion resolution the school board voted on affirmed schools in the district would protect students against immigration enforcement, as well as hateful speech.
Before board members voted, Anderson spoke out against the resolution. He said he didn’t think it was necessary, and that the district would protect students regardless.
He also said he didn’t like using the word “sanctuary” and spoke out against designated sanctuary cities by referencing the case of a San Francisco woman who was killed by an undocumented immigrant who had been deported 5 times before.
“The only reason I think he’d bring up something like that, completely out of place and without any sort of relevance to our children, was just to paint, to align undocumented immigrants as murderers,” parent Heather Franklin said.
Franklin said she believes “he made a racist statement.”
Still, Anderson said he doesn’t believe the idea of a “sanctuary” belongs in a school.
“We’re in the business of teaching kids,” he told KOIN 6 News. “I think respect for law is an important part of what we do. When we disregard laws, whether they be statutes or the Constitution of the United States, we are treading on thin ice.”
Anderson said he’d stand up to any ICE agent at school. But to parents like Franklin — who has already filed a complaint against him — that isn’t enough.
“I think that when you stand up against bigotry and racism, sure you might make people feel uncomfortable, but that’s necessary,” Franklin said. “It’s very necessary to teach our children to stand up for what’s right.”
Looking back, Anderson said he could have worded what he said differently.