Public discusses Facebook photo shared by Chesapeake school official

Screenshot courtesy The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – A controversial cartoon shared by the chair of the Chesapeake school board on her Facebook page earlier this month dominated the public comment period at a meeting Monday night. Nearly 30 speakers got up to talk about the issue.

The photo shared on Christie New Craig’s Facebook page earlier this month shows a quote that reads, “Muslims hate pork, beer, dogs, bikinis, Jesus and freedom of speech. My question is, what the hell do they come to America for?” The post has since been removed.

Craig previously told 10 On Your Side’s Brandi Cummings she was exercising her right to free speech. Several of the speakers at the meeting backed her up on that.

“Nobody should be pilloried for something that might have been silly, something that might bother somebody a little bit. Just respect what everybody has to say,” one man said.

“Here’s my thing. If you don’t like the post, don’t read her Facebook page, delete it. Don’t you have something better to do?” said another speaker.

Craig has also said she doesn’t support the cartoon and is sorry if someone was offended. Several other speakers at the meeting Monday wanted her to know they were.

“The meme that was shared by Ms. New Craig is unbecoming and irresponsible of a publicly elected official. It sends the wrong message to our children,” one man said.

“Though you may personally believe that Muslims are a nuisance in our community, Chairwoman New Craig, we are a part of the community you have sworn to serve,” said another speaker.

Craig had no comment after the meeting.

The board has said, in part, that the post had no effect on its “commitment to maintaining equal opportunity and non-discrimination standards.” Earlier this month, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations asked the board to investigate the post.

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