Anti-hate rally held in Toms River calling for school board member’s resignation

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Teachers and multi-faith groups gathered in Toms River Wednesday evening for a “Hate Has No Home Here” rally. The group is calling for the resignation of school board member Daniel Leonard – who has made controversial Facebook posts about two Muslim members of Congress.

Leonard originally came under fire when he wrote: “My life would be complete if she/they died.” It was in response to a Fox News article about Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib calling for a hunger strike to protest conditions at ICE detention facilities.

Leonard has made numerous other Facebook posts that some consider to be anti-Muslim.

RELATED: Toms River school official drops reelection bid amid controversial posts 
RELATED: Toms River school board member won't resign over posts on 2 Muslim reps, Islam 

"We are here because our Muslim community is under attack by a person who fashions himself a free speech champion but has shown himself to be a symbol of hate and bigotry,” says Kelly Morris with the group NJ 21 United. “We are here because there are Muslim boys and girls who walk the halls in schools all over this community."

Leonard responded the protesters in numerous Facebook posts, including calling a female protester a “dude” and posting a photograph of a baby bottle with the caption “Nothing like throwing down a few cold ones after a night of rallying against Daniel Leonard!!!!! #StillNotResigning.”

Leonard has refused to resign from his position, saying that his comments are protected under the First Amendment. But he has decided not to seek reelection when his term is up at the end of this year.

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