50 Gwinnett County activists and political leaders have signed a letter defending school board chair Dr. Tarece Johnson who is under fire for her comments about racism.
"[We] condemn those who are leading a campaign of misinformation and disinformation about her history and intentions for the Gwinnett County school board and the community of Gwinnett County," the letter stated.
The progressive Georgia Working Families Party penned the letter supporting Johnson. Two Democratic members of the Gwinnett Legislative Delegation, Reps. Jasmine Clark and Marvin Lim were among the signers.
The controversy surrounding Johnson stems from comments she made in a series of TikTok videos posted amid racial justice protests following the death of George Floyd in 2020.
In January, Johnson became the first Black woman elected as the county's school board chair.
"I have to, as a Black woman, teach my young Black children how to exist in this racist America," Johnson said in the video addressed to "White Allies."
In a letter sent to the Georgia Board of Education last month State Sen. Burt Jones, who is seeking the Republican nomination for Lt. Governor, referenced this comment and others and called on the board to investigate Johnson for conduct violations.
"Now more than ever, our education system needs welcoming role models who can provide guidance and assurance to students of all backgrounds," Jones' letter stated. "Dr. Johnson's actions severely undermine that mission, and further divide our students and schools at a time when we need to unite and come together."
The letter supporting Johnson called Jones' demand for an investigation "baseless" and a way of "using politics to garner support for his campaign for lieutenant governor."
Defenders of Johnson said the conversation about education has turned to "erroneous allegations and personal attacks that threaten the safety of our leaders."