New Jersey school board member says his ‘life will be complete’ if Rashida Tlaib dies

A New Jersey school board member is reportedly under fire for writing in a Facebook post that his “life would be complete” if Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) dies.

Daniel Leonard, 42, who serves on the Toms River Regional school board, will likely face an ethics investigation after sharing Facebook posts targeting Muslim lawmakers Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), the Asbury Park Press reported.

{mosads}“My life would be complete if she/they die,” says one since-deleted post, which was shared on Leonard’s profile in April along with a Fox News story featuring a photo of Tlaib, according to screenshots that have since been shared on Facebook.

Another since-deleted post showed Leonard sharing a video of Omar saying “some people did something” in reference to the Sept. 11 attacks.

“Terrorist ……. 100%,” Leonard’s post said.

A third deleted post from April shows a photo of a Barbie doll wearing a hijab and with bruises on its face. Next to the doll, it says: “Sharia Barbie … Comes with jihab, bruises, & Quran.”

Leonard represents Beachwood, N.J., on the nine-member school board and was elected to his post in 2016, according to the Asbury Park Press. He is seeking reelection in November.

Leonard’s comments prompted widespread backlash, with organizations including the New Jersey Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for his resignation for sharing “racist and Islamophobic posts.”

“The bigoted, hateful and threatening social media posts shared by this elected board of education official serve to disqualify him for any position that has responsibility for the safety, security and well-being of New Jersey’s diverse student body,” Executive Director James Sues said in a statement. “This is just a painful reminder of the extreme divisiveness that characterizes the current political climate at the national level.”

In a statement to The Hill, the Toms River Board of Education said it will “investigate and confer with the Board attorney as to any possible violations of the school board code of ethics and other applicable statutory provisions, and determine any appropriate course of action with regard to the Board member.”

“The Board does not endorse, support or comment on any private social media page or group, and will not tolerate racist, incendiary or offensive language on its official platforms,” the statement read.

School Board Attorney Stephan Leone told the Asbury Park Press on Tuesday that Leonard’s posts “are totally inappropriate, not condoned by the Board of Education, and do not reflect the board’s attitude or opinions.”

The Board of Education will meet Wednesday, and Leone added that the body “will determine what school board ethics violations may have occurred, and we are going to take appropriate action.”

Tlaib and Omar were both elected in November and made history as the first Muslim women in Congress. The two lawmakers, along with fellow freshman Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) have recently been targeted by President Trump, who last week told them to “go back” to where they came from, despite all four being U.S. citizens.

Amid the nearly weeklong feud between the president and the so-called squad, Trump supporters at a North Carolina rally last week began chanting “send her back” after Trump attacked Omar.

Ocasio-Cortez appeared to be the target of a death threat from a Louisiana police officer, who last week appeared to suggest that she needed to be shot in a since-deleted Facebook post and was later fired. A second officer, who liked the post, was also fired.

Updated at 3:16 p.m.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Ayanna Pressley Beachwood Daniel Leonard Donald Trump House of Representatives Ilhan Omar New Jersey Rashida Tlaib school board
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