Albion BOE member resigns, saying actions misconstrued in allegations of profiling

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 September 2020 at 11:13 am

ALBION – An Albion Board of Education member has resigned after allegations from parents that she called the police on three 10-year-old boys in a racially motivated incident.

Elissa Nesbitt said she there was no racial profiling when she called 911 in late August, asking an officer to check on three boys by the stone wall on Hazard Parkway, facing Main Street.

The police came and took the boys’ names and dates of birth. The boys’ families saw it as racial profiling, that Nesbitt wouldn’t have called the police if the boys weren’t black.

Nesbitt resigned from the board on Saturday, insisting there wasn’t any racism involved, just concern about the boys being unsafe near a busy street.

“It is unfortunate that my actions have been misconstrued and mischaracterized,” Nesbitt wrote in her letter of resignation. “I thought this was a community that looked out for one another and I did what I thought any parent should do.”

Nesbitt said she is resigning also out of concern for the health and safety of her and her family.

Kathy Harling, the Board president, issued a statement on behalf of the board today, citing Nesbitt’s statement that the incident had become a distraction for the board. Harling said an investigation in the incident is ongoing.

“The investigation will continue until completion, and the Board does not intend to make any further comments regarding the allegations or the investigation until that time,” Harling said.

Nesbitt was elected to the board in May 2018 and took office to a five-year term on July 1, 2018.

Harling said the board will discuss filling the vacancy during its October meeting.

Nesbitt previously served as a trustee for Hoag Library before joining the Board of Education. She and her husband Chuck have two young children in the district.

“When I set out to run for the school board my vision was to work hard to make ACS a better place for every student it serves,” Nesbitt wrote in the letter. “Working together with my fellow board members, we’ve accomplished a great deal and many things are currently in motion. For that, I’m proud. I have the utmost respect for and confidence in this board.”

(Editor’s Note: This article was updated to say all three families of the boys saw the incident as racial profiling and not just one of the mothers.)

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