For the second time in less than a year, Odyssey Charter has been placed under "formal review" by the Delaware Department of Education.
At a recent board meeting in January, board members were heard discussing traffic and parking issues they had with neighboring charter school Academia Antonia Alonso, which has a predominantly Hispanic student population. Both charter schools are located on Lancaster Pike in Barley Mill Plaza.
The board member, who hasn't been identified, was heard in a more than three-hour long recording of the public meeting saying:
"The other thing I proposed, somewhat in jest, to Ricardo and Evan was that we just put a fence, right there."
"And they're going to pay for it," another board member joked.
Laughter among the board ensued.
"Build a wall," said another board member.
"The jokes write themselves," said the original board member who proposed the idea.
Delaware Education Secretary Dr. Susan Bunting has condemned the remarks, calling them discriminatory.
The Charter School Accountability Committee will now be tasked with determining whether Odyssey Charter has violated the terms of its charter and probationary conditions of its charter renewal.
The school was placed on probation in June 2019 due to "governance issues."
Odyssey Charter's board president Josiah Wolcott said he takes full responsibility for the "insensitive" and "hurtful" words used during the board meeting.
He also called for the resignation of the board member, who he did not name.
"This was a painful lesson and I will hold myself and the entire OCS board to a higher standard," Wolcott said in a written statement.
Contact information for board members of Academia Antonia Alonso Charter School was not publicly available, and the main office at the school did not answer the telephone.