Prior to the announcement from Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords that she was stepping down, TUSD Governing Board member Michael Hicks called on her “to demand the resignation of Mr. Rogers.” Despite the Tucson community’s effort to increase civil discourse since the tragic shootings last January 8, Rogers called for an assault on TUSD Board members. Mr. Hicks had hoped to at least receive a response from Giffords’s staff member Ron Barber, head of the Civility Fund.
He heard nothing back from the congresswoman’s office.
In a Facebook post Rogers wrote, “After their defeat, they need to be tarred, feathered and rode out of town on a rail.” Hicks called the post by Rogers an “irresponsible and hate-filled” actions and said that it “caused great distress for this community and more personally to me; the distress of my wife and my precious 13 year old daughter, who now thinks that her daddy could be harmed.”
TUSD Governing Board member Stegeman responded to Rogers on Facebook, “Isn’t “tarred and feathered” out of the old KKK playbook?” Rogers removed the post, but not before receiving support for his call to action from fellow Facebook “friends.” Rogers says that he stands by his statement.
Dear Congresswoman Giffords,
I would like to begin by thanking you for your commitment and service to this country. It is because of the sacrifices you have made on behalf of the residents of Tucson that I am writing to you.
Through your hard work and tragic circumstance, you have become the symbol of public service and civility. I feel confident that you will agree with me that incivility and calls for harm against civil servants must not be ignored.
The recent demand by Pima County Chairman Jeff Rogers that the members of the Tucson Unified School district be harmed as a result of their votes of conscience has caused great distress for this community and more personally to me; the distress of my wife and my precious 13 year old daughter, who now thinks that her daddy could be harmed.
This community which has suffered so much and has learned so much as a result of the tragic events of last January cannot allow a person in a position of authority to call for violence against its elected officials or any citizen. Therefore, I believe it is incumbent on you, as one of the highest elected officials in the Pima County Democratic Party, to demand the resignation of Mr. Rogers.
His irresponsible and hate-filled actions do not serve this community as a whole, including the students in our public schools who rely on School Board members who must perform their civic duties free from intimidation and treats.
Please continue your efforts to increase civility in our community, and help protect elected officials from intimidation tactics and bullying used by any political ideologue, and join me in my demand for Mr. Roger’s resignation.
Yours in service,
TUSD Governing Board member