Campbell Union High School District trustee Matthew Dean got called out earlier this year for his glib denial of systemic racism and suggestion that students who experience racial harassment need to toughen up and find the “diamond” in situations like being called the N-word. Though he ignored public pleas to resign, he at least agreed to not seek re-election this fall.
A broad coalition of folks applauded his decision, including teachers frustrated by Dean’s divisiveness, students insulted by his condescension and colleagues—CUHSD trustee and San Jose District 9 City Council candidate Kalen Gallagher among them—embarrassed by his verbal antics. Their relief was short-lived.
Varich, who’s running against incumbents Stacey Brown and Kristiina Arrasmith as well as newcomer Basil Saleh, has said at political forums that he supports arming teachers in the classrooms and has promoted extremist rhetoric online.
A sample of tweets from his now-private Twitter account and Facebook page include one that promotes conspiracy theories about Barack Obama, another that compares government welfare recipients to wild animals and yet another that calls CNN less trusted than “breast milk from Bruce Jenner” and “having a drink from Bill Cosby.”
Varich has also shared content from The Religion of Peace, a website that features anti-Muslim propaganda and sources people such as neo-Nazi Richard Spencer and other white nationalists listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s hate-watch list.
“It’s really disturbing,” says Saleh, a 22-year-old Egyptian-American and Branham High alum who’s running to bring diversity to the all-white school board. “These aren’t the kinds of ideas we want to hear from the people leading our district.”