Meriam Uppal, who identified herself as a Muslim Roseville High School alumna who no longer lives in the district, emailed the Eastsider to bring attention to the posts that she called “Islamophobic, racist (what ‘race’ is Islam?) and xenophobic.”
CandG NEWS After the Roseville Board of Education meeting Nov. 21, the email and pictures posted were brought to Francesconi’s attention. “I read them, and I agreed with them and I retweeted (shared) them,” said Francesconi.
The posts were dated Nov. 10, 11 and 19.
On Nov. 11, Francesconi shared “Christian, Conservative, Patriot and Not Afraid’s” photo of President-elect Donald Trump with his hands in the air and the caption reading, “No I’m not going to kill the gays, make slavery legal, and take away women’s rights. I’m not a Muslim.”
Francesconi shared two photos on Nov. 19. The first was from “Conservative Post” and shows the World Trade Center being destroyed on 9/11 with the caption, “How did we go from this to being afraid of offending Muslims?”
The second post that Francesconi shared Nov. 19 is a photo with four boxes reading, “Number of Jewish terrorist attacks since 9/11 — Zero; Number of Christian terrorist attacks since 9/11 — Zero; Number of Islamic terrorist attacks since 9/11 — 26855. Not all religions are the same.”
“The vice president of the Roseville school board has a history of making such outlandish and racist posts. Our primary concern is the signal this gives to the district and especially students,” said Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Walid spoke out against other Francesconi posts in 2013 and 2015. “I’m concerned about the Muslim and American children in this district. We have a man with a leadership position in the school that is making anti-Muslim posts that are also false. That’s where the concern is,” said Walid.
In 2013, Francesconi was forced to remove a anti-Muslim terrorist Facebook post. The post depicted the three victims killed in the Boston Marathon bombings and read:
“This issue is greater than just me having a difference of opinion from Mr. Francesconi,” Uppal said in an email to the Eastsider. “We hold our teachers and staff to a higher standard. If a member of the faculty were to say some of the things that he says on his page in public, or in private for that matter, we would expect them to face consequences. As the vice president of the Board of Education, the very board that hires teachers, why shouldn’t he be held to that same standard? How can we expect fair and impartial decisions on hiring personnel, student expulsions, etc., when someone like this is openly biased?”