Utah Senate Democrats’ Statement on State Board of Education Member Natalie Cline
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 5, 2021
SALT LAKE CITY (Feb. 5, 2021) — Today, the Utah Senate Democrats — Senators Karen Mayne, Luz Escamilla, Jani Iwamoto, Gene Davis, Kathleen Riebe, and Derek Kitchen — issued the following statement regarding recent comments made by Utah State Board of Education member Natalie Cline:
“As leaders who represent some of Utah’s most diverse legislative districts, we are appalled to see the incendiary and harmful remarks made by Utah State Board of Education member Natalie Cline. Such commentary is shocking to hear from a publicly elected official, and we believe this pattern of unsettling behavior greatly harms some of our most at-risk populations and our community as a whole.
Utah’s education system should strive to be one of inclusivity and tolerance. Dialogue surrounding important topics such as systemic racism and LGBTQ+ issues should be encouraged in our schools. Students of all identities are denied equal opportunity to succeed when this dialogue is absent, which has wide-reaching consequences.
It is our fervent hope that Ms. Cline recognizes how her comments harmed some of our most vulnerable communities in Utah schools. Students, staff, and teachers have a right to feel safe in their classrooms. As a result, we hope Ms. Cline quickly takes corrective steps to repair some of the damage done, and we call on her to pursue a better understanding of all the challenges that our students face.”