Boston School Committee chairman resigns after appearing to mock names in Zoom meeting

10/27/20 By Bailey Allen

Boston School Committee Chairman Michael Loconto resigned Thursday after reportedly making fun of Asian-American speakers’ names during a Wednesday night Zoom meeting.

During the online school board meeting, a moderator announced the names of upcoming speakers. Loconto presumably forgot to turn off his microphone, relaying their names incorrectly in an insulting manner. 

“That was like Shania, Shanaya, Sha-nay-nay, and Boo Boo, and David, right?”

A few minutes after the blunder, Loconto attempted to explain his comments by saying, “I’m sorry, I wanted to interrupt and just apologize. I had my mic on earlier while I was talking to somebody in the room with me and I’m sorry if anyone misinterpreted any of the comments that I made. I was talking about a children’s book.”

Many city councilors, along with City Council President Kim Janey, spoke up publicly about the incident and called for Loconto’s resignation. Janey Tweeted Thursday morning, explaining that “Mocking names is rooted in racism. Period.”

Mayor Marty Walsh gave a statement confirming Loconto’s resignation Thursday. “While he conveyed to me his personal embarrassment and his desire to seek forgiveness, his comments were hurtful and wrong.”

Loconto, who was appointed by Walsh in 2014, was expected to work as the Boston School Committee chair until 2022.