Union Co. school board member resigns following insensitive Facebook posts

Union Co. school board member resigns following insensitive Facebook posts

UNION COUNTY, N.C. — A Union County school board member has resigned after making insensitive posts on Facebook.

The resignation comes after school leaders received complaints last week that board member Travis Kiker made racially insensitive posts on his personal Facebook.

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At a news conference Monday, Board Chairperson Melissa Merrell said the board looked into the posts and determined they were insensitive and inappropriate.

“As elected officials that serve this great county we need to be the voice for everyone and we need to be considerate of the people we represent,”Merrell said.

She said Kiker emailed his resignation and it reads in part, “For 1.5 years I have put the students, families, faculty of union county first and foremost. All of our stakeholders have been my priority in light of recent events I believe my continued service will serve as a distraction to our key priority our 42000 children and 5400 employees.”

Merrell accepted Kiker’s resignation and it has since been forwarded to the Superintendent.

President of the Union County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Nathel Hailey told Channel 9, he expected no less than Kiker’s resignation.

“We cannot have a person representing our school board and our students that posts those kind of things on Facebook,” he said.

Parent Althea Richardson-Tucker said she wants to see the dialogue on issues surrounding race continue.

“These students deserve better,” she said. “The sensitivity of racial bias needs to be addressed for the school because it’s been continuing it didn’t just happen now.”

The board announced that it is starting a citizens advisory committee on diversity, which Merrell said has been in the works over the last month.

“This will be our opportunity to listen, understand and for all of us to grow together,” she said.

Hailey said the committee is a great idea as long as it is diverse.

“I think it’s going to be great. We need that kind of voice in our county to overlook our schools, be a voice for the community,” he said.

This isn’t the first time a Union County board member has been called out for a similar issue.

In 2017, board member Dennis Rape was asked to resign for making racially insensitive comments. He now serves as the Vice Chair of the Union County Board of Commissioners.

Check back with wsoctv.com for updates.