BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent S. Dallas Dance is facing backlash after retweeting a controversial message on election night.

On Tuesday evening, Dance retweeted former Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Joshua Starr. That tweet reads:

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“Educators: tomorrow pls show your muslim, black, latino, jewish, disabled, or just non-white St’s, that you love them and will protect them!”

dallas-dance-tweet

Dance is facing backlash from parents, and a local lawmaker is calling for him to resign.

Parents tell WJZ the tweet simply invites trouble, as it deals with race relations at school in a place as diverse as Baltimore County. Others argue there’s no malice in the message, and that it’s something some desperately needed to hear.

“Carelessness is what comes to mind,” says Rebecca Wiseman. “Irresponsibility is what comes to mind. Heartless.”

“Being a parent of a special needs child, and being Latino, I mean I fall into that category,” says Angie Moreno. “My kids fall into that category. But it’s not appropriate.”

Not every parent disagrees with the message, though. One parent told WJZ it’s exactly what her children needed to hear.

“There’s a level of fear that now exists,” says Nichelle Hicks.

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“Why will we ask a man to resign when all he’s telling his teachers is to remind them [their students] that we love them? No. That’s absurd.”

Republican House Delegate Joe Cluster is the one calling for Dance to resign in the wake of the controversy.

“We’re in a very polarized country right now and we need to do everything to unite each other, we shouldn’t be dividing ourselves based on race, religion and creed,” he said.

Parents are planning protests for and against Dance in the coming days.

Dance released the following statement Thursday:

“As the Superintendent of one of the largest most diverse school systems in our country, I always lead from an equity lens with an intense focus on all student populations and ensuring they feel welcome and supported. Education is not void of politics and during the last two years, our country has had one of the most divisive campaigns in modern history. Comments were made that disenfranchised several groups of students we serve in Baltimore County Public Schools.

As our nation moves forward, it is our collective responsibility to make sure all students feel safe and know we are their advocates. As I continue leading our school system and as a member of several educational organizations, my continued focus is to work with local, state and national government representatives to move public education forward for all students.”

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