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JP School Board asks controversial new member to step down over social media posts

"We specifically take exception to his post demeaning teachers."

JEFFERSON PARISH, La. — The controversial new member appointed to the Jefferson Parish School Board has been asked to resign.

The school board put out a statement Friday asking for Rafael Rafidi to step down just days after they appointed him to his position.

The board cited Rafidi's social media, where he posted profane attacks on teachers and anyone he saw as an opponent to former President Donald Trump.

"The non-civil tone, profane language and generalized condemnation of opposing ideological groups is indefensible and inconsistent with the Board’s objective of unity and mutual respect," the statement said. "We specifically take exception to his post demeaning teachers."

Tweeting in 2018, Rafifdi said, "Teachers are the fall of our young people in this country. No values, no work ethic, and just suck as much as you can from those that work hard. Good job".

In Feb. 2021, Rafidi replied to a tweet from former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. "Go f--k yourselves," Rafidi wrote. In another tweet, he called Cassidy a "piece of s--t". He called Landrieu a "f-----g traitor."

Rafidi's social media doesn't say whether he had gone inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, but it does say he was at the Stop the Steal Rally and walked over to the Capitol. 

Board Member Billy North, who voted ‘yes’ to Rafidi, is owning up to his part in the appointment.

“We made a mistake and we have to fix it, and it will be fixed,” he said Friday, after the board requested Rafidi’s resignation.

North admitted board members did not do enough digging into Rafidi’s background, and some of them, including North, met Rafidi for the first time on the day of the vote.

“He came highly recommended by a former board member, and there was nothing given to me before the vote to make me think otherwise,” said North.

North committed to changing the way new candidates are vetted for the school board positions and vowed transparency going forward.

“We made a mistake. And I apologize for my yes vote. I didn’t know, but there’s no excuse. But it won’t happen again, and we’re fixing it. We’re fixing it,” he said.

Rafidi's appointment came during a special meeting held before Wednesday's regular school board meeting. Rafidi was reportedly the only candidate who expressed an interest in the job.

Among the members of the school board, seven voted to appoint Rafidi. School board members Ricky Johson and Simeon Dickerson did not. Johnson voted against Rafidi's appointment, and Dickerson abstained.

RELATED: Newly appointed JP School Board Member attended 'Stop the Steal Rally,' walked to Capitol: report

RELATED: Trump asks Supreme Court to block release of documents to Jan. 6 committee

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