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UPSD Members Critical of Hofkin

            The past actions of Reann Hofkin dominated the board comment portion of the meeting. Hofkin thanked them for stripping her of any committee responsibilities. Three members also criticized her past words and deeds during the Jan 13 regular meeting.

            Hofkin thanked the board for giving her the gift of time. She said the continuation of a February, 2021 decision to remove her from all committees has allowed her to spend more time with friends and family and attend more protests.

            The member claimed that by not having her on a committee, the board was denying the community a voice in decisions of school business. Hofkin also criticized new council president Judith Maginnis, suggesting that the board needed to vote again to limit her responsibilities.

            "This board can do better under different leadership," said Hofkin, who was removed as board president on June 11, 2020 following a transphobic social media post. "The faster you figure it out, the better."

            According to Dana Hipszer, the other members thought long and hard about restoring Hofkin's committee assignments. However, he said Hofkin's behavior prevented the board from reversing itself.  "You put yourself in a bad situation," he told her. "And we can't move forward because of that."

            J.P. Prego read a prepared statement voicing his disapproval of comments made Dec. 6 by Hofkin recommending parents defy the health and safety orders put in place, pull children out of the district and comparing the district's masking requirements to being one of the Jews who were "forced aboard a train in Germany."

            "These comments show that you truly aren't acting in the district's best interest anymore," said Prego. "Typically, I don't want to give any attention to something like this because it's just so ridiculous and feeds into the needs for attention of the person. But in this case, I don't want my silence on the issue to be confused with acceptance."

            Elliot told Hofkin her comments belittled the memories of people who fled the Nazis during the 1930s and the memories of those who died in the Holocaust or those who fought to defeat fascism in World War II. He also described the words as disrespectful.  "You can't make light of that situation," Elliot said.

            Emily Psaris McCormick accused Hofkin of harassing parents who brought their children to a voluntary vaccine clinic at the 4th & 5th Grade Center in East Greenville during a protest in December. Hofkin denied the accusations.

            Keith McCarrick then changed the subject, highlighting recent accomplishments by the district's students through the Western Montgomery Technical Career Center.






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