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School Board Probes Claim Of Racial Bias By Member

Burlington School Board member Stephanie Seguino (left), Superintendent Yaw Obeng (center), and Board President Mark Porter (right) in file photo from September 2017
Pat Bradley/WAMC
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Burlington School Board member Stephanie Seguino (left), Superintendent Yaw Obeng (center), and Board President Mark Porter (right) in file photo from September 2017

An investigation into possible racial bias by a Burlington, Vermont, school board member is pending as the board prepares to swear in its newest members.
Outgoing board chairman Mark Porter accused board member Jeff Wick of discriminating against superintendent Yaw Obeng, who is of African descent. The Burlington Free Press reports that Porter says Wick questioned whether the district had gone too far in its hiring of racial minorities for leadership positions.

Wick has called Porter's accusation "false and slanderous." The board voted in February to open an investigation, which was expected to last two weeks.

Acting board chairwoman Stephanie Seguino says one person involved in the investigation has not yet made himself available for interviews, holding up the process.

Five new members will join the board Tuesday.

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