Local school board VP accused of making derogatory comments

A local school board meeting erupts in chaos after an alleged racist statement.

School board members at El Rancho Unified are up in arms after the board's vice president allegedly made a derogatory comment about another member.

Some people are calling for the Vice President of the El Rancho Unified School Board to resign after alleged comments made during a Zoom meeting. 

During the meeting, Vice President, Leanne Ibarra, made a comment over Zoom. She did not realize her microphone was not on mute. 

"I said 'she is so f****** whiney, who I was referring to my dog at the time, who has a hurt foot. She's recovering, but she was whining the whole time. Unbeknownst to me, my mic being open, hot, not on mute, I said that comment out of frustration about the dog, talking to my daughter," said Ibarra. 

However, some people and board members believed she said "she is so f****** white," referring to Carolyn Castillo, the acting clerk of the board. Castillo said the alleged comment did not surprise her.

"This is not the first time that Ms. Ibarra has made derogatory comments about me and another school board member. I'm used to her comments. Her vocabulary must be very limited for her to be making these derogatory comments," said Castillo. 

Ibarra said it was a "slip of the tongue," and not meant to be derogatory. 

"I would never in any way shape or form say that or refer to my colleagues like that in any matter, anything so racist, that's just not me. I would never insult any one of my colleagues whether I disagree with them or not," said Ibarra. 

Castillo is in the process of calling for a recall against Ibarra. 

"She wants to retain her position on the board, but she has made some poor decisions. I represent the community, and they need somebody who is respectful and somebody who is looking out for their best interest," said Castillo. 

Ibarra said she has no plans to leave her position. 

"Over six thousand citizens voted for me to represent their best interests which is what's best for students. I'm here to do this job. I'm here to govern on their behalf. If I throw in the towel or resign or whatever the case may be I'm letting down a whole community," said Ibarra.

FOX 11 reached out to Board President Gabriel Orosco for comment. He released the following statement:

“Ms. Ibarra’s word choice was unfortunate for a public forum, but I take her at her word that it was a mistake and that she was not referring to Ms. Castillo or anyone in the meeting.  In the years I’ve known her, I’ve never known her to speak to a colleague like that, and I have no reason to not believe her explanation. In moving forward as a Board, we will continue to govern with the students’ best interests in mind.”