Boston School Committee Chairperson Michael Loconto resigned Thursday amid public pressure after he appeared to mock names of people signed up for public comment during a meeting Wednesday night.
Loconto’s comments came amid a discussion of a proposal to drop admissions tests for the city’s prestigious exam schools for one year because of the pandemic, instead determining eligibility and acceptance by using grades, MCAS scores, and ZIP codes. The school committee ultimately voted 7-0 to approve that plan.
According to audio of Wednesday night’s Zoom meeting, shared by WCVB-TV, Loconto’s comments came after the moderator announced the next list of speakers.
Loconto followed up by appearing to mock the pronunciation of their names. “That was like Shania, Shanaya, Shanay-nay, and Boo Boo, and David, right?”
A few minutes later, Loconto apologized, explaining that he was speaking to someone else in his room while his mic was accidentally on.
“I was talking about a children’s book,” he said.
But many, including a parent who spoke later in the meeting, questioned that explanation.
Hear the audio, shared by WCVB-TV, below: