VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Author's note: The video above is on file from Feb. 26, 2022.
A Virginia Beach School Board member was removed from a state working group following her controversial comments about students who speak English as a second language.
Victoria Manning was criticized for a Facebook post she made after a presentation about ESL students at a recent meeting, which outlined a jump in students from 1,768 last school year to 2,084 this year.
"VB schools has 300 additional ESL students in the past year. Most are from South America. Our ESL budget has increased over $1 million in 2 years. Continuing to educate South Americans is not sustainable," Manning wrote.
Virginia Secretary of Education Aimee Guidera condemned Manning's comments, saying she will no longer participate in the working group.
"They are completely unacceptable and are in absolute opposition to the Youngkin administration's commitment to educate and prepare every child in the Commonwealth for success in life," Guidera said.
In a statement, Manning accused her "political opponents" of twisting her words into something she didn't intend.
"I love all people, no matter where they are from.," Manning said. "I come from a family of immigrants who came to this great country fleeing religious persecution, even having to become indentured servants, and my grandmother was Native American. The media and leftist narrative and cancel culture that paints everyone with whom they disagree as racist needs to end."
Manning defended herself by saying she was pointing out teacher shortages and the current funding for the ESL program.
She ended her statement by accusing School Board Chair Carolyn Rye and Vice-Chair Kimberly Melnyk of attacking "any opposition to their agendas."
You can read Manning's full statement on her website.