LUDLOW — School Committee member Joao Dias announced during the committee’s April 9 meeting that he would resign from the committee effective April 10.

In a statement read by Dias, he explained that he “can no longer in good conscience” remain on the committee due to past actions and statements made by committee members.

Dias included a list of things actions within his statement, citing comments on students’ use of pronouns, the committee’s relationship with the superintendent and state, a lack of member debate, the concept of gender, and the committee’s previous discussions on whether certain books are acceptable in a school library.

“It has become clear to me that my confidence and moral beliefs have led me to believe that I could be a part of bringing positive change on behalf of the students of Ludlow,” Dias said during his statement. “I have come to the realization that this is unrealistic.”

Dias went on to highlight that Ludlow students “deserve proper guidance so that they may flourish into healthy young adults” but that the committee’s opportunity to make a change “has come and gone.”
In his statement, Dias also referenced the March 25 School Committee election when current Chair Sarah Bowler was elected over challenger Isabel Soares as well as the election’s turnout rate. In her election platform, Soares supported the questioning of certain school library books through a policy brought forward by Dias.

In May 2023, Dias proposed and advocated for a new library policy that would allow the School Committee to challenge which books were displayed in Ludlow school libraries, as reported by Reminder Publishing. The proposed policy noted that books containing explicit or implied descriptions of sexual acts, nudity or nude intimate parts should not be allowed in elementary school libraries. While Dias moved to accept the policy, no vote was taken by the committee due to the lack of a second for Dias’ motion.

As of press time, Dias had not officially submitted his resignation from the School Committee, Ludlow Town Clerk Kim Batista told Reminder Publishing.

Bowler similarly stated that she had not yet received confirmation that Dias formally resigned. When asked about the next steps following his resignation, Bowler stated that she was “waiting on confirmation.”

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