News & Politics

DC School Board Member Criticized for Racist Comments Was Part of the RNC Roll Call

Also, we need to talk about the flag.

Ashley C. MacLeay, an at-large member of the DC State Board of Education, was part of the team of District Republicans who nominated President Trump during Monday’s RNC roll call.

MacLeay took a significant amount of criticism last month for racist remarks she delivered at a meeting at which the board passed a resolution that favored removing police officers from schools.

MacLeay said the board, in reacting to George Floyd’s killing by police in Minneapolis, was trying “to capitalize on an incident that took place half a nation away,” and offered the following anecdote as a defense of school resource officers, as cops in schools are known: “Just a couple months into my term, a Black 3-year-old brought a gun into a school,” she said. MacLeay claimed it was “well-known that at least one school east of the river, that known gang members and human traffickers, a.k.a. pimps, hang out during school.”

Asked to explain why she mentioned a toddler’s race to make a point about policing, MacLeay told WAMU/DCist that “It was made very clear that race was an important issue by other members of the Board and that this resolution was to support only people of color” and that she “used real, concrete, and true examples of actual incidences that have occurred in the schools in our city and showed multiple examples of how having SROs are helpful and not hurtful.”

MacLeay also made a bit of a splash in 2018 when she questioned on Twitter what one of the women who accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault was doing at a party with minors and also suggested in an apparent tongue-in-cheek fashion that Kavanaugh’s offenses included wearing white after Labor Day. She deleted those tweets.

The overall tableau the DC delegation assembled for the telecast is somewhat confusing. The DC flag on the table they surround appears to have been altered so the stars have five extra points. The table is stocked with what appear to be items collected at a gift shop.

DC Republicans are a vanishingly small part of the city’s electorate–only 4.1 percent of DC voters voted for President Trump in 2016.

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. He lives in Del Ray.