Warren Township High School board member Liz Biondi has been asked to step down for the anti-gay remarks she made regarding hiring a gay superintendent.
Biondi did not attend the Warren Township High School District 121 Board of Education meeting Tuesday but every seat was filled. Many upset by her comments came to voice their displeasure, saying Biondi is a distraction and that the high school deserves better.
“It’s giving the school a bad name, it’s just not right,” student Eric Gustafson said.
One by one community members, students and staff addressed Biondi's comments and called for her to step down. Biondi was noticeably absent. She was elected to a 4-year term last year with 31 write-in votes.
“I’m going to assume [her] comments were made out of hate, not ignorance,” English teacher Jason Baker said.
The controversy began at a Dec. 2 public meeting where board members were discussing criteria for the next head of the Gurnee-based school district, following the retirement of current Superintendent Mary Bates.
“I’m going to be very blunt," Biondi stated regarding candidates for the role. "I have very good friends who are gay or lesbian and I’m concerned if we hired someone and we were not aware of their background that we may be fighting more personal fires than superintendent fires."
Biondi has apologized for her comments but board members say she violated her oath of office and must go, passing a resolution calling for her immediate resignation.
If she doesn’t resign the matter heads to the regional superintendent's office to determine whether she should be removed from the board.
An online petition calling for her to step down now has more than 3,000 signatures.