New York’s statewide teachers union is joining the growing chorus of people calling for Buffalo Public School Board member Carl Paladino’s removal from office. The union said its members will reinforce a Thursday morning protest organized against Paladino.

“We stand with parents and concerned citizens across New York State in calling upon the state education commissioner to immediately remove Carl Paladino from the Buffalo school board,” NYSUT President Karen E. Magee said.

Thursday afternoon, the school board is holding a special meeting to discuss “board member conduct.” Last week, alternative Buffalo newspaper Artvoice published the controversial answers Paladino gave to an annual survey.

The brash businessman and one of Donald Trump’s leading supporters in New York, among other things, wished President Obama dead and that First Lady Michelle Obama would “return to being a man and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe.” He has since said the answers were a joke which he sent by mistake.

Magee said this kind of rhetoric is not new for Paladino, who ran for governor in 2010.

“His racist rants are despicable. He is unfit to hold a position of responsibility affecting students and their well-being. As educators, we are dedicated to ensuring our students learn in classrooms and on campuses where the values of respect and civility are paramount,” she said. “We condemn this disgusting, racist behavior and call for Carl Paladino’s removal.”

Nearly 16,00 people have signed a petition sharing the same sentiment as Magee. Public officials including Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Assemblyman Sean Ryan, D-Buffalo, have also called for his removal.

State Education commissioner MaryEllen Elia does have the power to remove an elected board member. Elia has not yet commented on the situation.