Angry e-mail ousts school board president

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- The president of the San Diego school board resigned Tuesday night amid a furor over an e-mail she sent in which she expressed a desire to shoot two of her colleagues.

Sue Braun refused to step down altogether from the board that governs the state's second-largest school district, however she apologized publicly Tuesday for the missive and called it "a terrible error in judgment."


"I will adhere to a higher standard and maintain a respectful level of discourse, even when we differ," Braun said.

Braun, who has a year remaining in her term, said she wasn't serious when she fired off an e-mail to a handful of trustees and administrators complaining about two fellow board members following a testy meeting last month.

The San Diego Union-Tribune said Braun sought advice on maintaining order at board meetings and then offered her own drastic solution for dealing with dissenting members John de Beck and Frances Zimmerman.

"The only other idea I have is to shoot the both of them," Braun wrote. "I was thinking of a way to get them both with one bullet, but now think they are each too heavy for that to work."


The San Diego County District Attorney's office has declined to prosecute Braun after determining the threat wasn't genuine, however the message caused a public uproar in the county that was the scene of two suburban schoolyard shootings earlier in the year.

"Our district has a zero tolerance policy; if a student had said that, they would have been expelled immediately," a San Diego teacher told United Press International. "What could she have been thinking?"

A troubled student with a handgun killed two classmates and wounded 13 other people on March 5 at Santana High School in Santee. Less than a month later, a former student from Granite Hills High School in neighboring El Cajon injured five students and faculty members when he fired a shotgun through a window at his old school.

Granite Hills and Santana are within the Grossmont Union High School District.

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