The city’s establishment of elected office holders sat silently after a story broke that a Ward 3 city council candidate had posted Facebook memes that made fun of transgender people, the Democratic Party and progressives.
It took a group of New Bedford High School LGBTQ+ students and their supporters to hold a protest and call attention to what many saw as messages that were clearly demeaning and disparaging.
Jack Spillane sat down with four of these students, as well as one of their mothers, to talk about LGBTQ+ life at the high school and concerns as to whether the city’s school resource officers will keep these kids safe, given the police union’s endorsement of the newly elected Ward 3 councilor, Shawn Oliver.
Inside the student protest against Shawn Oliver and his Facebook posts
Among the students who were protesting the new Ward 3 city councilor, many identified as LGBTQ, but a large number said they were allies supporting their friends and classmates.
Student protest exposes misguided loyalties of local politicians
The students called out the local elected officials for not doing what they should have done, standing up for the city’s transgender community as soon as the Oliver Facebook story broke.
City Councilor Oliver apologizes for offensive Facebook posts
“Although this was never my intention I do see that my actions caused harm and for that, I apologize. No one should ever feel illegitimate, afraid, or unheard.” — Statement from Ward 3 City Councilor Shawn Oliver