Ms. Downs Board of Education Resignation

March 28, 2023

March 28th, 2023

Dear Blue Waves Community,

I, Laurie Downs, am immediately resigning from the Riverhead Board of Education.  I think this is an important first step in bringing about the healing of the pain my words have caused.  I don’t want my behavior to further distract the leadership of these school districts from providing quality education to all students.

I want to again apologize for the hurt and pain I caused the Brentwood, Riverhead, and other school communities across Long Island.  I recognize the harm that my words have caused, and I am truly sorry for that.

I understand that what I said was harmful, hurtful, irresponsible, and not representative of the communities I named.  I have heard incredible youth activists, political representatives, alumni, and parents, and I recognize that I was perpetuating stereotypes and stigmatizing already marginalized communities.  For that, I am remorseful and deeply, deeply sorry.

I also want to reiterate that the thoughts I expressed do NOT represent the thoughts and values of the other 6 Riverhead Board of Education members.  Those thoughts do not represent the opinions of our Superintendent, Administrative Staff, teachers, parents, and students in the Riverhead School District.

When I ran for the school board, I never imagined I would hurt a child.  Both Riverhead and Brentwood School Districts whose diversity strengthens these communities not weakens them.  I should have instead used my platform to highlight the positive effects that Latino heritage and culture have had on the school districts.



Laurie Downs