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Buffalo School Board member who used profanity in meeting apologizes

Paulette Woods said she hoped the community would have a sense of forgiveness, adding that a '7-second incident' should not distract from important education talks.

BUFFALO, N.Y. —  A Buffalo School Board member is now formally apologizing for her behavior involving profanity during a school board meeting held on Zoom earlier this month.

Paulette Woods called in to a talk show on WUFO Radio on Saturday morning to make that apology.

This follows the meeting on November 18, where she was seen apparently swearing on the Zoom camera and making an obscene gesture as another board member is speaking. 

This is an excerpt of what she said told the hosts and WUFO Radio audience. Paulette Woods said: "I want to start by publicly apologizing to the parents, students, my constituents, my fellow elected officials, office and staff, and the Western New York community at large for displaying offensive body language and facial gestures during a very emotionally charged board of education meeting a couple of weeks ago. I allowed my emotions to run over, and I acted in a way that did not represent my best self."

While original versions of the video have been circulating on social media, again this was during a public board meeting on Zoom, WGRZ Channel 2 had to blur out her image when the incident occurred as per FCC requirements.

This was during the school board meeting where the extension of Superintendent Kriner Cash's contract was being discussed, among other topics.

Woods told 2 on Your Side on the phone back on Monday that the claims about her behavior were unfounded and slanderous, and that she was actually reaching for a glass of cranberry juice at the time.

She also said she might consider legal action against fellow board member Larry Scott, who is seen and heard on that video calling everyone's attention to the obscene gesture and language. Woods has not returned our calls or messages for response since Monday. 

On Saturday, Woods said on the radio broadcast that she had previously apologized to her fellow board members within 48 hours of the November 18 meeting. Some board members have called on the board leadership to take some sort of action against Woods but their options are limited under the board bylaws.

Board President Sharon Belton-Cottman said she could not comment until the board discusses the situation in a meeting. 

Woods also said she hoped the community would have a sense of forgiveness and that the "media focus on a seven-second incident" should not distract the public's attention from discussing important education issues.

It was announced during the radio program that a news conference is set for Tuesday afternoon by her supporters. It is not clear if Woods will attend.

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