Skyy Fisher, the Compton school board member who was caught making inflammatory comments about deceased Florida teen Trayvon Martin and school superintendent Karen Frison on a podcast interview, has taken a 60-day leave of absence from his position.
Fisher announced his leave Friday in a statement posted on the Compton Unified School District site.
"My comments have created an unnecessary distraction for a district on the brink of transformation," wrote Fisher, "and I know comes as a disappointment to my supporters and everyone engaged in the important work of educating Compton’s students."
After apologizing for the comments he made (calling Martin a "faggot black dude" and calling Frison a "bitch superintendent"), Fisher explained his leave of absence as time needed to "address a range of personal and health related issues."
Fisher's off-the-cuff podcast remarks were first reported by LA Weekly Wednesday, and they followed up with a later report detailing that Fisher had to either resign or be recalled by popular vote; as an elected official, the school board did not have the authority to fire him.
The following day, school district parents joined together with representatives from NAACP Compton Branch, Project Islamic HOPE and Concerned Citizens of Compton at a press conference to call for Fisher's resignation, reports Los Angeles Wave.
“We do not want our children represented by a person that doesn’t have enough respect for the position that he holds, nor the citizens of this community," said NAACP Compton Branch President Paulette Simpson-Gipson. “He needs to be held accountable. ... We do not need leaders like that.”
Currently, Fisher works as a Communications Manager for the Engineers & Architects Association (EAA), a labor union that represents about 5,000 LA employees in contract negotiations with the city. A spokesperson for EAA confirmed Fisher's position to The Huffington Post but clarified that Fisher was not technically an employee of EAA. Instead, he was hired in mid-April under a short-term contract set to end in about five weeks.
After that, Fisher's position could be filled with either a full-time or part-time employee.
In the past, Fisher has served as Assembly District Delegation chair of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party from the 52nd Assembly District and as a delegate for the state democratic party.
The Los Angeles County Democratic Party released a statement Saturday about Fisher's comments, calling them "irresponsible, hateful and hurtful." In part, it reads:
The Los Angeles County Democratic Party strongly condemns the hateful and vitriolic remarks by Compton School Board Member Skyy Fisher. This type of offensive and hurtful language has no place in our community, especially from an elected official entrusted with preparing our students for success.
Fisher’s comments fly in the face of Democratic values and beliefs. We are shocked by Fisher’s appalling and insensitive comments. No one should condone such type of remarks and behavior: it’s despicable, irresponsible, and reprehensible.
First and foremost I want to express my deep regret for recent statements that I made and others that have been attributed to me concerning the late Trayvon Martin, Compton Unified School District Interim Superintendent Karen Frison and Compton Unified School District student and her family.
I want to apologize to the individuals in question, their families and their friends. I understand and am deeply sorry for the unwarranted pain and emotional distress that my ill conceived and inappropriate remarks caused them to experience.
I also want to apologize to my colleagues on the Compton Unified School District Board of Trustees, district employees and especially, to the students and community that we are privileged to serve. My comments have created an unnecessary distraction for a district on the brink of transformation and I know comes as a disappointment to my supporters and everyone engaged in the important work of educating Compton’s students.
My deep regret notwithstanding, I realize that I must take the time to address the underlying issues that have brought me to this point. As a result, I will be taking a leave of absence from my duties as a member of the Compton Unified Board of Trustees for the next 60 days to allow time for me to address a range of personal and health related issues.
Again I want to apologize to everyone affected by my remarks and respectfully request patience, forbearance and privacy while I undertake this journey.