Chula Vista Elementary School District trustee Kate Bishop stepped down as board president on Sept. 15 but will remain on the board. This decision came after several tweets from her personal Twitter account that some parents considered disturbing and unacceptable for a person in her position as a board member of an elementary school district. Bishop’s tweets in contention date back to 2011. Bishop was elected to the board in 2020.
Joe Thomas, a father who posted the old tweets on social media on Sept. 8, stated that “her comments are appalling, disturbing, and unprofessional for any educator in the public school system.” Thomas stated he contacted the Office of the Superintendent the previous Thursday, and by Friday morning Bishop removed her Twitter account.
Although Bishop’s Twitter profile stated that she was an “occasional stand-up comedian,” the decade old tweets did not sit well with Thomas and other parents.
Two of the tweets that were in major contention was a post on Feb. 14, 2011, where she wrote, “Off to the park to see what hot 3 year old girls my kid can hit on…#valentinesday.”
The second one on Oct. 24, 2012, stated, “I’m pretty sure I hit my sexual peak today. Somebody bring me an 18 year old boy, STAT! #hormones.”
Other complaints contained tweets with political leaning against Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, and Hillary Clinton.
At the beginning of the CVESD board meeting on Sept. 15, Bishop said she was going to take a moment of presidential privilege to open with an apology.
“Many of our community are rightfully upset about careless and inappropriate tweets I posted years ago,” she said. “I was an (aspiring) stand-up comedian at the time, parenting my young children, and only engaging politically to vote and making offhand comments as a member the public. Now, as a parent with school children, and personally involved in education policy, I see this as a teachable moment that things on the internet last forever. The intent of these tweets was to be funny, but they weren’t. They were hurtful and I am very sorry. I own my past mistakes and I will continue to be much more mindful and responsible going forward. Furthermore, because the president of the board is essential in representing the board as a whole, and the District, I will be stepping down from the presidency effective at the end of this meeting.”
In a statement from the District, Interim Superintendent Oscar Esquivel said that these social media posts occurred years before Bishop’s election to the Board of Education.
“Her personal tweets do not represent the opinions or beliefs of the Chula Vista Elementary School District,” he stated.
Bishop said she wanted to address those who took those tweets out of context and were derogatory and wanted to address a specific comment on one of her tweets from Oct. 20, 2016, which stated, “It’s terrible all the cholera these Mexicans are bringing across the border. Still, nobody loves like I do. Believe me. #TrumpBook Reports.”
“This particular one, was one that was difficult to have misconstrued,” she said. “When I said the thing about Mexicans bringing cholera over the border, I just really wanted to clarify I know that it was not funny, but the context of that was it was Donald Trump’s book report, and the idea is that you give a Donald Trump book report in the voice of Donald Trump. And that was Donald Trump doing a book report on love in the time of cholera. It was a dumb thing to do, and it was not in my voice. Never in a million years would I have said anything like that from my own heart. And I really apologize to any of our Mexican people here who would have read that outside of the context. That was derogatory and that one really hurt my heart. Out of context, that was a terrible thing to say.”
Although Bishop said she would step down as board president at the end of the meeting, due to Board policy, she will retain the title until the next board meeting on Oct. 20, when the board can vote on who will take the position.