Lone Black Board Member in Valley School District Resigns; alleges ill-treatment


Dr Tara Armstead says she was repeatedly fired while working for Litchfield Elementary School district because she was an educated black woman.

LITCHFIELD PARK, Arizona – The only black member of a school board in the Valley resigns.

It comes after the Litchfield Primary School District faced a backlash from the community earlier this year after the district passed a fairness statement intended to address the racial differences of students.

Dr Tara Armstead was the only board member when she stepped down on Tuesday evening stating in part: ‘I will not say thank you for the time I have spent here nor express any gratitude or appreciation. because during the 5 months that I am here I have been treated as if I am not an expert in the field and have no idea what I am talking about.

Armstead says part of his salary was due to his race.

“I also believe that I’m a black woman on the board, that I am the black woman who speaks the truth about what is happening to us blacks, Hispanics in these environments and that makes people uncomfortable. . And that unease pushes me back instead of pushing people forward, ”Armstead said.

For context, the Arizona Department of Education reported last year that the Litchfield Elementary School District is going through a demographic shift. White students are the minority in the school district, making up about 40% of the population compared to 60% of students of color.

Dr Armstead was the only member of the colored board until his resignation.

His resignation comes as the school district becomes a majority for the first time.

After the district released a fairness statement this year, it rubbed some parents the wrong way because they accused the district of pushing critical race theory. Critical Race Theory is an academic movement of academics and civil rights activists that examines American history through the lens of race and racism.

In response to Dr Armstead’s resignation, District Superintendent Jodi Gunning said, “We are grateful to the members of our Board of Trustees who devote their time and energy to supporting the nearly 11,000 students and nearly 1,400 employees. We thank Dr Armstead for his services and wish him all the best.

We have reached out to all of the other board members for their comments on the allegations and Armstead’s resignation. Neither of them made any comments other than two wishing him the best.

Arizona school year

With COVID-19 rising again in Arizona, uncertainty hangs over schools as they begin the 2021-22 school year. Check out the latest news on Arizona students, teachers, and districts on our YouTube 12 News playlist here.


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