It may not be unusual to walk into a public school and see a picture of the United States president.
What’s less common is for a member of the governing board to request one.
Still, Buffalo School Board member Carl Paladino made the request at a meeting of the School Board on Wednesday, noting that he has seen pictures of President Barack Obama when he visits Buffalo schools.
Now, he wants the district to start preparing to replace those pictures with photos of Donald J. Trump, when he takes office as president next month.
Paladino initially made the request during the portion of the meeting when board members give committee reports, saying he represented the “patriotism committee," which is not actually a board committee. He later presented it as a formal resolution, which ultimately failed to gain enough support from his fellow board members.
Paladino, a fervent Trump supporter, was heavily involved in his campaign in New York State.
His request is likely to draw criticism from parents and members of the public, who have previously raised concerns about Paladino’s political involvement with the candidate.
Those critics condemned comments Trump reportedly made about various racial and ethnic groups, noting that the Buffalo Public Schools serve a diverse group of students who might take offense to his statements.
Other board members responded to Paladino’s request by noting it is at the discretion of principals to decide what they display in their schools.
"I think this is problematic," said board member Theresa Harris-Tigg. "Now we are going to mandate, and force something, when it has been their prerogative."
"Why do we care?" Paladino responded. "Why do we care what their prerogative is?"
Some board members tried to offer a compromise, including also displaying the picture of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo – Paladino's onetime opponent for the office.
Hope Jay joked she wanted one of Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz, who garnered attention when he supported her bid for a board seat.
The board did manage to find a peaceful resolution.
Instead of a picture of Trump, the district will display posters of all of the former and current U.S. presidents.