School board member quits after making slur against tribe

Jeff Koble, a Darrington appointee, wrote of “drunk Indians and government handouts” in a text message.

DARRINGTON — A school board member resigned earlier this month after making statements on social media that insulted Native Americans.

“The derogatory comments were directed at the Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe and members of our Native American community,” Superintendent Buck Marsh wrote in a public statement after the resignation. “The views expressed by this individual DO NOT represent the views of the Darrington School Board or of the Darrington School District.”

Former school board member Jeff Koble wrote the comment after the Sauk Suiattle Indian Tribe announced plans to open a casino near Darrington later this summer.

A screenshot shared with The Daily Herald shows a message from Koble in which he wrote: “On the Indian Casino how about calling it Drunk Indians and government handouts casino.”

A follow-up message reads: “I made a mistake in sending this out.”

Koble resigned in an email to the school board and superintendent June 15. It was one sentence.

“I resign from the school board immediately,” he wrote. He could not be reached for additional comment.

The school board plans to set a timeline for selecting a new board member at its meeting Tuesday evening. The agenda includes accepting the resignation and starting the process for filling the vacancy.

Koble was the District 2 director for the Darrington School Board. He was appointed in December to fill an empty seat.

He was one of four new directors appointed or elected since November. There have been three resignations and one election affecting the five-person board in recent months.

Koble said in his application for the seat that his goal was to run the district like a business, based on what is best for the children’s education. He wrote that he wanted to acknowledge past issues and move forward. He was one of five people who applied for the spot.

Marsh wrote in his message to the community that he and the board are committed to equity and understanding.

“I apologize for the damage that these comments caused to students and families in our district,” he wrote.

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; kbray@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Another ID through DNA: Who killed Rodney Johnson?

Last seen in the late 1980s, he was reported missing in 1994, the year a body was found in Lake Stickney.

COVID-19 updates for parents and guardians

Public Health Essentials! A blog by the Snohomish Health District.

Latest COVID spike may have peaked in July, data shows

New numbers are a positive step forward, but some metrics are headed in the wrong direction.

Everett man identified after being stabbed to death in fight

A man reportedly stabbed Sophan Phal, 35, Sunday night near Everett and fled the scene.

Soper Hill roundabout and pedestrian trail work wraps up

Lake Stevens and Marysville worked together on the traffic infrastructure because of nearby development.

Shouts and joy: After 75 years war’s end still unforgettable

Machias native, author of “Pilchuck Reflections,” was watching a movie in Everett when the news came.

Police dog nabs, nips man suspected of burgling smoke shops

Monroe police arrested a man after two smoke shops were broken into Monday morning.

Study: Virus cases must drop for schools to safely reopen

Infection rates are flattening, data show, but Snohomish County is far from the recommended target.

Oak Harbor Public Schools decide on plan for fall opening

Conditions which must be met for a combination of in-person education and distance learning.

Most Read