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District 65 board to discuss ‘racist and hateful attacks’

Weekend vandalism of board member's car prompts the session.

The Evanston/Skokie District 65 Board of Education has scheduled a special meeting Thursday morning to discuss safety and security procedures which, according to the meeting’s agenda, concerns “employees, students, staff, the public, or public property.”

District spokesperson Melissa Messinger tells Evanston Now the meeting was called “in the wake of racist and hateful attacks directed at district administrators and board members.”

Sometime overnight between Friday and Saturday board member Elisabeth Lindsay-Ryan’s car was vandalized with homophobic slurs. Lindsay-Ryan is seeking a new term on the board in April’s municipal election.

Evanston Police Cmdr. Brian Henry says a detective has been assigned to investigate the vandalism incident.

Last year, several district leaders were targeted with a racist email after a national news story about the district’s efforts to help minority and marginalized students during the coronavirus pandemic.

Messinger says there will be a board statement in public before members go into a closed door session to discuss the safety issues. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m.

In another incident over the weekend involving a local political candidate, someone Zoom-bombed a Saturday video interview of 5th Ward aldermanic candidate Carolyn Murray being conducted by the Democratic Party of Evanston, making racist comments during the live online session. Henry says he has no update on police efforts to identify the person involved in that incident.

Jeff Hirsh

Jeff Hirsh

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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