Jess Machado

THIS GUEST OPINION PIECE BY: Jessica Machado is a freelance writer and former contributor to the Fall River Herald News. She is also a former radio host at WSAR and political blogger.



This past weekend, I sat down with Dighton-Rehoboth school committee member Katie Ferreira-Aubin, who has been facing criticism from fellow committee members for a social media post on her personal TikTok account where she likened the current vaccine mandates to events reminiscent of government actions during the Holocaust.

Her views on freedom of not only speech but of a parent’s choice over vaccination of their children is one that myself and fellow moms in my community of Somerset share. I am aware these feelings are not shared by all, but my work for conservative candidates as well as the recent Trump presidential campaign have shown me that there are many people in Bristol County who share these passionate points of view, having the most concentrated Republican vote in the state.

Five members of Aubin's 10-seat committee recently issued a statement indicating they will not associate with Aubin going forward, a bizarre notion considering they are all on the same school committee. With no recall option in the town of Rehoboth, aside from a voluntary resignation – which Aubin has stated she is not considering – Aubin will remain a member of the school committee where she is ready to work.

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Residents and students are now faced with the notion that five members of their board could most likely not keep the best interest of taxpayers in mind as they navigate through the work of a district encompassing two towns. Furthermore, these five members have essentially drawn a line in the hypothetical sand where they will no longer work with or for the taxpayers who elected Aubin. The election in April garnered Aubin the highest votes of all candidates, a resounding statement from the community that says they want a conservative voice to represent their families on this committee.

In a recurring pattern of cancel culture from the left, these members, along with a parent who has started a petition for Aubin to step down, have essentially decided that when someone has a point of view different from their own, they must be removed. As a concerned parent of an adjacent community, I want to encourage the five members of the Dighton-Rehoboth School Committee who signed this letter of division to rethink their stance on working with Aubin and the voters who elected her. It will show true leadership from these elected officials to navigate through the challenging moments of differences of opinions, and foster a working environment that can benefit all members of both communities.

Editor's Note: 'SouthCoast Voices' is a series of guest opinions from newsmakers and other people across the region, on relevant issues that directly impact the people of Greater New Bedford and the surrounding communities. The opinions are solely those of the author. If you are interested in contributing, please contact for more information. 

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