Corrigan school board member under fire for allegedly sending racially charged e-mails

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

CORRIGAN, TX (KTRE) - The Corrigan-Camden Independent School District's Monday meeting led with allegations of racial e-mails sent by one of the board trustees. More than 50 people listened to discussion about the incident in which board member Johnna Willson allegedly sent e-mails containing racial undertones to a group of people including school district teachers.

Rows of Corrigan citizens voiced their concern over the racial e-mails. "Those that voted her in deserve an apology," said Anna Young. Young said she filed a complaint against Willson after hearing that several people received the e-mails allegedly sent by Willson.

"She has a right to do it, I think no less of her. That's her First Ammendment right, but I am upset about when you become a school board member or any elected official you lose those rights," said Alvin Freeman.

While Willson understands why the community would be upset, she maintains she had nothing to do with these e-mails. "I'm totally against this kind of stuff. I was a parelegal for 17 years and I can tell you that a person is innocent until proven guilty, and I am innocent," said Johnna Willson.

So the Board acted on what they could address, the ISD's stance on these types of e-mails. They approved this motion: "The Board distances itself from any e-mails, communications, or such that contain any racist or offensive material."

KTRE obtained copies of the two e-mails. The first e-mail reads "Attention All Hunters!!!! Please bring all hunting dogs to Washington D.C. there is a coon trying to get in the White House."

The second e-mail begins with the sender saying: "Sorry, I just had to pass this along," followed by a fictitious letter to "Dear Abby" containing racial undertones.

Even with distancing themselves from the above statements, many in the community feel the Corrigan-Camden ISD did not do enough.

"I'm what you would say ticked-off. I feel like they didn't solve any issues," said Johnny Brooks.

Some of the people who attended Monday's meeting suggested that Willson should be impeached from the school board. However, the district court is the only entity that can lawfully remove a school board member.