Ray Cote, the New York school board president who described a PTA parent as ‘chubby wubby’ during a public meeting has resigned. Ray Cote’s resignation was announced at a Mahopac Board of Education meeting Tuesday night, where parents had vowed to demand he step down regardless of whether he apologized. He did so, nonetheless. Cote called words his ‘inappropriate’ and said they ‘do not reflect my feelings or attitudes.’
The school district’s attorney says Cote also withdrew his candidacy for re-election. Parents of school children in the tiny New York State hamlet immediately called for Cote, who’s led the board since 2011, after his comments last month. They were videotaped and broadcast on a local cable access station and live-streamed via the Internet.
The Mahopac Board of Education issued an official statement today:
‘The Mahopac Board of Education acknowledges the apology of board President Raymond Cote regarding his comments after the close of the board meeting on April 8, 2014. We are disappointed by and do not condone this lapse in judgment on the part of Mr. Cote. ‘The Board of Education expects all of its members and meeting participants and attendees to act in a respectful manner. It is our commitment to move forward as a community in a positive manner and focus on the education of our children.’
Prior to the resignation, parents revealed their ire for the man they elected to lead the community’s children. ‘It totally tells us the he cares nothing for the community that he says he upholds. Nothing,’ Deena Bell, who has two high schoolers in the district, told WABC, a local television station. Cote is a member of a diversity and sensitivity initiative created in March following racist tweets posted by some Mahopac students during a basketball game.
Former school board member John Molloy had already taken steps to try and unseat Cote in the days after his comments became publicized.
Cote’s full comment in reference to the mother of six and 10-year school board volunteer was:’A chubby wubby, she keeps getting fatter at every meeting, she really does.”I’ve contacted the State Education department,’ said Molloy. ‘We’re filing a formal complaint. I’m waiting to take their lead but we’ll file a formal complaint and ask to have him removed.’