wei ueberschaer
Santa Rosa School District

Asian American Santa Rosa, FL school board member called “communist” for recommending face masks

A Santa Rosa, Florida school board meeting on May 3rd turned ugly over face mask requirements. When Chinese American school board member Wei Ueberschaer talked about respecting those who wanted to keep wearing face masks, some in the crowd jumped down her throat with boos and got racist.

“I’m truly said that face masks have morphed from a protective strategy to a political issue … on Thursday the highest-ranking public health official in our state rescinded all public health advisories regarding face masks,” Wei said. “While my preference would be to finish out the remaining weeks of the school year with the protocols that have been working in our school all year … I still strongly encourage the use of face masks, especially for those who are not fully vaccinated .. My hope is that the families will have a conversation with their children that face masks are now a personal choice and that students should respect the choice of their peers …”

Her statement didn’t sit well with the audience with some calling her a “communist,” “democrat,” “RINOS,” and telling her this isn’t “China.”

“You’re a communist,” one of the parents could be heard saying.

“This is Santa Rosa County, not China,” another said.

Wei Ueberschaer has been living in Florida since 1998 and became a school board member in 2018 after working as a science teacher. She told the Washington Post that she did not hear the comments at the time but if she did she would have shot back but respectfully.

“We expect mutual respect and common courtesy from our students, so we expect the same from the adults who attend the school board meetings,” she said.

Wei emphasized that most people in Santa Rosa are respectful and that she never felt targeted outside of board meetings. But she’s worried this negativity can ripple into the community.

“I am concerned about students and employees of color who have watched that in my district, and I’m concerned about how they’re feeling,” she said. “It is a small percentage of my community that feels emboldened enough to conflate this virus with a race.”

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