Letter: Duanne Scavicchio and the DEI Question

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To The Editor,

On October 9th, I attended a candidate forum put together by the League of Women Voters and a group of DASD students.  The event was informative, and I commend all the candidates from both parties who participated.

During the forum, each candidate was asked their stance on the district’s DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) programs, including the hiring of a DEI director.  Every candidate, including Republican Duanne Scavicchio (Region 5) responded positively. Mr. Scavicchio answered that he works for a company that has “a very strong DEI program.”  He added, “It’s very important in the community and in schools . . . . it’s only going to help our community grow and move forward.”

His answer was surprising, given that Mr. Scavicchio is endorsed by Moms 4 Liberty.  Moms 4 Liberty makes no secret of its anti-DEI stance.  This organization, both nationally and locally, views DEI efforts as a Trojan horse, infiltrating schools with Critical Race Theory.  One of their goals is to eliminate school district DEI efforts.  The entire point of an endorsement is to signal to the voter that a candidate shares their goals.

I find it very hard to believe that Scavicchio presented the same views on DEI to both Moms 4 Liberty and the DASD voters at the forum. Mr. Scavicchio’s personal Facebook page features memes mocking vegetarians, trans-and gender non-conforming individuals, and making fun of Greta Thunberg, known climate activist and person with autism.  Does this seem like someone who truly supports DEI efforts?

 It all begs the question: was Scavicchio dishonest regarding this issue?  And whom did he deceive – Moms 4 Liberty or DASD voters?

I don’t know, and therein lies a very big problem.

I have asked Mr. Scavicchio to respond to this.  To date he has not.   If this is all a misunderstanding, the onus is on him to clear up and let the public know how he really feels regarding DEI, as voters on either side of the issue are passionate.

Let me be clear.  It is unacceptable and disqualifying for Mr. Scavicchio to have misled either group.  No matter what his true feelings are about DEI, his duplicity has already rendered him unfit to serve on any school board or in any office that requires the public trust.  No DASD voter from either party can rely on him to say what he means and mean what he says.

Jennifer Fenn

West Bradford 

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