Complaints continue against Prosser School District staff
PROSSER, Wash. — Several dozen people showed up to the Prosser School Board meeting Monday night to continue complaints about employees Peggy and Dale Brown.
Peggy Brown remains on administrative leave following a post she made after the “Day with Immigrants” protest.
One mother who did not want to give her name introduced herself as a representative of the local migrant community. She and one other Latina mother expressed concern over Peggy Brown’s potential treatment of their children.
“Education goes beyond the classrooms,” she said. “If this decision cannot be changed, I respect it. But at the same time, I would like an apology for my community.”
Those in attendance said other posts Peggy Brown made were equally concerning.
“Her behavior has become more dark and sinister, not less. The Hitler salute is particularly telling,” said one woman, indicating a post with Hitler’s picture and the caption: ‘Nazi Germany was an educated society. It is not an intellectual problem. It is a spiritual one.’
“Freedom of speech is a big deal,” she continued. “But if [Peggy Brown] hurts someone, it will be on you.”
Peggy’s husband Dale is a school bus driver for the district. Parents complained last week to the superintendent about Dale Brown’s personal truck parked next to Keene-Riverview Elementary. It has a sign on the back with phrases criticizing Muslims, Mormons, and LGBTQ people.
He stressed on his YouTube channel that it is his first amendment right to free speech, and that he feels the need to speak up about what he feels is not right.
“I am from Egypt, and this is my picture,” another in attendance, Imam Mohamed Elsehmawy said.
Elsehmawy is a religious leader at the Islamic Center of Tri-Cities in West Richland. He complained of pictures reportedly posted online by the Browns of himself and local youth with captions, such as: ‘How to brainwash the youth for Allah.’
“I have three daughters,” Elsehmawy said to the board. “I am so lucky that I’m not living in Prosser. And I am lucky I did not bring my children to this school.”
While many who spoke said they wanted the Browns fired, some also asked the district to create a new policy for staff members’ public social media posts.
The board listened to all comments, several members taking notes and the superintendent speaking with those concerned during a break.
The board did not discuss the issue further at the meeting.
The district has said it cannot do anything to take away the couple’s right to free speech.
In the meantime, the group of concerned parents, students, and community members said they will continue speaking out until action is taken.