New Berlin school board member accused of making racially charged remarks during meeting

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NEW BERLIN, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Controversy in New Berlin drew dozens to a school board meeting Monday night, March 8. 

A board member made what some see as racially charged remarks during last month's meeting.

The board did not address what was said at the February meeting, but did allow for public comment, and one by one, residents expressed outrage. 

The New Berlin school board meeting was tense at times. One man was told he needed to stop commenting when he directed his statement to one specific board member. Justin Evans walked away from the podium, saying it seems First Amendment rights come second in New Berlin.

Parents passionate about better tomorrows took the podium one by one, some saying the curriculum needs to change.

At the center of the controversy is New Berlin school board member Jeffrey Kurth.

During a discussion about diversity, inclusion and Black History Month in February, Kurth questioned why Black History Month exists, wondering why we don't also celebrate Asian History Month and American Indian Month, just to name a few.

The comment hasn't sat well in a community striving to be better when it comes to diversity. More than 1,000 people signed a petition last year.

Those who addressed the board talked about how the district needs better curriculum and an environment that insists on the acceptance of each other. 

The superintendent said the ongoing discussion from last month will be placed on the board's agenda for next meeting. 

Board member Kurth didn't speak on the topic Monday night. 

We reached out to him separately, and haven't yet heard back. 

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