WINCHESTER — The online history of Frederick County School Board Opequon District candidate Bryan L. Nuri is being questioned by some voters.

Nuri, 41, frequently posts comments on social media sites, and he is often outspoken.

In a tweet on Jan. 1, for instance, Nuri told a viral conservative figure on Twitter that she is “still a simple retard.” In a Nov. 30, 2018, Twitter response, he referred to President Donald Trump as “Retard-in-Chief,” and he called a conservative activist advocating for guns rights a “media whore” on Aug. 30, 2018, on Twitter.

Michele Strachan, who lives in the Opequon District and works as a special education aide for Frederick County Public Schools, said Nuri will not get her vote based on his use of the word “retard” alone. Strachan works with students with all forms of disabilities.

“It’s degrading,” Strachan said. “I feel like if you are running for something in the government platform you should really check how you behaved even before you say you are running.”

Nuri, a tax preparer and bookkeeper at Liberty Tax, is making his first run at elected office in the Nov. 5 election. He is working toward becoming a teacher.

He told The Star this week that his use of “retard” was “a very poor choice of words” and “going forward that will not be part of my vocabulary.”

But he stands behind his outspoken online presence. Both his Facebook and Twitter accounts say, “If you want it sugar-coated, you’ve come to the wrong place, cupcake.”

Nuri said he feels compelled to regularly comment on social media sites because he’s motivated to educate others. If elected, he said he plans to continue with “no less conviction than before,” but he will do so more thoughtfully.

“I am a frank problem solver,” he said. “Some people don’t like blunt answers. I simply seek to make my community a better place, a place to be proud to live in for all of us.”

He believes School Board representatives should be nonpartisan, adding that he doesn’t necessarily lean one way politically. When it comes to transparency in school spending, he said he takes a conservative stance, while he has a liberal stance on supporting arts education.

But Opequon District voter Chris Jarrell, vice president of the Parent-Teacher Organization at Bass-Hoover Elementary School, thinks Nuri’s comments on Facebook and Twitter are “very concerning,” adding that they sometimes use “harsh” language that’s “divisive.” He feels that someone running for elected office should choose their words wisely. “His words aren’t a good example,” Jarrell said.

Jarrell also is concerned with what he called a partisan tone in Nuri’s comments.

Frederick County School Board Chairman John Lamanna, who is running for the Board of Supervisors and not seeking re-election to the School Board, said that if a School Board member used language online that he deemed offensive, he would have a conversation with that person.

According to Frederick County Public Schools policy, it is strongly recommended that all employees, including School Board members, not use FCPS accounts to create emails or social media networking accounts for personal use. Recommendations are given on how they should use their personal networking sites, which includes refraining from “inappropriate electronic communication with students,” avoiding the “appearance of impropriety,” refraining from “posting negative information about students, fellow employees or the school division” and refraining from “uploading inappropriate content.”

The policy suggests practicing “online reputation management by considering the personal, professional impact” of what they post.

Nuri also has an account on the website Deviant Art featuring photographs he took of nude and partially dressed women, which as of Tuesday were publicly accessible. He confirmed the account was his and said he took the studio photos many years ago of models in hopes of reviving his photography career.

“It was years ago and has nothing to do with my current activities,” Nuri said. “It was a complicated and rough time.”

Nuri said he regrets that some people have been offended by his online posts. He said that’s not his intent. He also said he doesn’t plan to delete his posts on Twitter or Facebook, because that would make it appear that he is hiding something. In regard to his Deviant Art account, he said he’s not sure he has the password for his profile on the website anymore.

“I know that I have upset some in our community with my words, but I want everyone to know that they originated from a place of caring and a desire to form a more perfect union,” Nuri said.

Nuri’s opponent for the Opequon District seat, Bradley Comstock, a local Realtor, said he had not seen Nuri’s online posts and declined to comment.

— Contact Anna Merod at amerod@winchesterstar.com

(26) comments

Mr Incredible

A leopard doesn't change it's spots. And Mr Nuri's assertion that he's not going to delete his comments is a sly response, since he has already deleted large portions of his comments from local boards to keep the public from seeing his real,unfettered self. If the community can't do any better than Mr Nuri, we're all in big trouble.

Mr Incredible

A leopard doesn't change it's spots. The guy is still strange and his comment that he hasn't deleted any facebook posts is patently untrue. He purged large swaths of his comments on various local boards so people can't see what a complete *** hole he can be. If the county can't find better candidates than Mr Nuri, we're all in deep trouble

Durango

IT'S BRIAN NURI!!!!! Hide your kids!!!

skyhighnet

I wonder how much traffic his photography portfolio is getting because of this article? How is that even relevant?

NTS-VA

I think if anyone steps up and owns their stuff, they are acting like an adult. Folks often think that they can do and say what they want with abandon. He is owning his past, apologizing for past verbiage and standing by his convictions. How is this a bad thing? Has no one else ever said or done something they regret? Seems unlikely and hypocritical.

skyhighnet

Very well put!

MrJgyPhly

Agreed. Being a frequenter of comments sections, anytime someone points out something offensive I’ve said, I immediate recognize the errors of my ways and own it. I actually really appreciate wen this happens because otherwise, I would just go on saying offensive things and not caring. People in comments sections, like Nuri, need to realize they do in fact educate people. Otherwise, what reason would someone have to comment on news articles?

Don Specht

So why doesn't the Star write a story about DJT's social media presence? [facepalm] Never mind. I keep forgetting that media bias thing ...

MrJgyPhly

Don, I really appreciate your willingness to toss that other Don into the conversation. I find it really spices up these comments sections. I used to frequent another nationally recognized local newspaper's comments sections, but I was generally ignored, which really got under my skin. There'd be an article about a new museum exhibit and I'd be like "DONALD TRUMP HATES MUSEUMS" but the informed citizens there didn't really appreciate my attempt to start a meaningful dialogue in the highest quality of platform: the comments section. Not here, though. I find that at the Star, both sides of the political spectrum are willing to complain about Trump at any opportunity. Changing the world, Don, one comment section at a time.

CRT

You are so terribly witty. Harvard or Yale?

MrJgyPhly

CRT, I’m flattered you would think me Ivy League stock. I get that a lot in these comments sections. My ex-wife says they’re just a place to forget about my empty soul—a substitute for actual human interaction and a place we’re the lowest of human desperatioon thrives in order to feel whole again. I don’t believe her, though, hence “ex” wife. I went to Sioux Falls Community College. I’m pretty sure college degrees are required to post here, right? Anyway, you keep up your service. I’m proud of you, friend. You is important.

Spock Here

How interesting, I was told my second cousin once removed went to SFCC to study rocks

MrJgyPhly

Spock Here, do you mean Bob Here? Love that rock head.

ktdesign

This personal attack from our partisan Winchester Star does not cite anything that our republican President has not unashamedly done.

MrJgyPhly

Agreed, ktdesign! I was just talking with CRT further down in the comments, and he (she? they? zhe?) made this exact point. The two of you are absolutely correct--if Donald J. Trump can get away with his behavior, then Bryan Nuri should as well! I really wasn't going to vote for Nuri before I checked out the Star's comment section this morning, but I find my opinion frequently swayed by the people who frequent this nationally recognized local newspaper, albeit a partisan one. Thank you for your aid in helping me decide who to vote for!

Mark Anderson

The guy isn't trying to educate or make his community a better place, he's just a jerk online, but a lot of us can be. He would make a horrible board member for a lot of reasons, but it's going to be really fun watching people with Trump signs in their yard saying they can't vote for this guy because of words he said.

MrJgyPhly

Get 'em, Mark Anderson! Those Trump voters can be so hypocritical. If only they could recognize their hypocrisy, they'd see that they're enacting a double standard. You're absolutely right: we let Trump get away with it, so we should let Nuri get away with it as well. Like you, I know I'll have the backbone to vote Nuri. A vote for Nuri is a vote against hypocrisy. Time to stand up to these Trump supporters! I frequently stand up to them in the comments section of this nationally recognized local newspaper, and I've noticed you do as well. Comments sections are really where opinions are changed and personal viewpoints sharpened, but recently I've resolved to take my comment section comments to actual people in actual voting booths.

CRT

We all know how those in the party of Trump just hate ill chosen or insulting words. Remember that time Trump mocked a physically disabled reporter? Or all the times he's called people "low IQ" or in other ways questioned their intelligence (which is quite something coming from a man who thinks there was an air force in 1776 and who cannot pronounce "origins")? Remember all the times he's used swear words (even the F word) at rallies?

MrJgyPhly

All good points, CRT. If the leader of the free world can get away with his online misbehavior, then I agree with you that Bryan Nuri should get away with his. He's got my vote now, and I'm sure he has your vote as well. Thanks for swaying me!

Steve Cunningham

This comparison is not apples to apples. With the meltdown that you liberals have over Trump’s rhetoric, your head would explode reading Nuri’s comments. He has went through several Facebook accounts just trying to hide from previous comments and to surpass being banned from several sites

MrJgyPhly

There’s some stank on “liberals” when you read that out loud, right? Well done, Steve Cunningham. That’ll show ‘em!

anon

Using the word "ret..." just once is horrible and unforgivable. The world has enough divisiveness. Use common decency. Be an example.

jwbbud

He’s done, next news story

MrJgyPhly

And next comments section, amiright?

Don Specht

So are you the next new master of Comment Section Performance Art, or do you just like to type a lot?

MrJggyFly

Like my mom always says, lots of typing is just a way to smother my sadness. Yeah, I blocked her. How dare she suggest what any of us sats here is simply a sad and meaningless need to start fires—man cannot live with fire!!!!! Anyway, move on to your next point Don.

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