Dumb school board member of the week gets no support

October 4, 2011

A Massachusetts school board member resigned following a much-publicized magic trick at a meeting where he appeared to remove the bra of a fellow board member. [The Enterprise]

The meeting was being aired live on cable television at the time.

Russell FitzGerald, 49, resigned Monday as chairperson of the Abington School Board in response to the controversy. He had served on the board for almost 12 years.

FitzGerald, who said he has performed as a professional magician, opened the school committee meeting on Sept. 27 with a handkerchief trick requiring three participants. FitzGerald had opened previous meetings with similar, smaller tricks.

In this one, high school teacher Steven Shannon and school board member Ellen Killian participated, but said they did not know what was planned. It involved FitzGerald tying two handkerchiefs into a knot and giving one end to Shannon.

With Killian holding the knot against her chest, both men then pulled on their end of the handkerchief, and out from under Killian’s arms popped a bra tied to the handkerchiefs.

Witnesses say the trick was met with stunned silence by the audience.

The next day, after the story broke in the local newspaper, FitzGerald issued a public apology to Killian.

FitzGerald said Monday he never wished to harm anyone, and acknowledged the meeting was possibly not the right venue for the trick.

“There’s a regret in a sense that if I did offend anybody or embarrassed anybody, I’m truly sorry,” he said.

Meanwhile, the local cable company is refusing to release a tape of the meeting to the media.






  1. r0y says:

    Just to remind us how over-sensitive we all are. Sheesh, it was a magic trick. If you don’t want to open meetings with magic tricks, don’t have a magician as a chairperson.

    I think some people just need to be incensed at things (and blatantly show it). To them I say: Get over it.

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  2. Nancy says:

    Maybe she was pissed off because he used a training bra for the trick. This woman sounds a bit childish too me to be so embarrassed as to require a resignation over a harmless joke. Cripe, it’s not as if he actually took her bra off.

    (7) 9 Total Votes - 8 up - 1 down
  3. Typoqueen says:

    It was inappropriate but not that big of a deal. Geez, I’ve seen our local school board do things that actually harm people like try and fire good people simply out of vindictiveness. I’ve seen our school board cause lawsuits that cost us millions, fire employees to make room for their family members etc.. Although stupid, a tacky trick like this is no biggie IMO.

    (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down
    • Cindy says:

      Well heck, since you put it that way. I’ve seen our school boards excuse the fact that an Administrator and his wife who earn $320K a year filed for a free lunch program for impoverished children. What they rather responded to was the need to engage an expensive law firm in a quest to ferret out who the whistle blower is!

      (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
  4. Cindy says:

    Well I don’t think that is something that he should have to resign over. It was probably embarrassing for the poor unsuspecting woman. After all it was a televised school board meeting. Personally, I think it’s funny and would have let it go with an apology and his recognition of having used very poor judgment.

    Apart from that, COME ON PRUDES, it’s a good trick and it is funny.

    (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
  5. Pizmo says:

    Slow news day at CCN?

    (-1) 5 Total Votes - 2 up - 3 down

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