BOWLING GREEN, Va. (AP) — A Virginia county supervisor has apologized for comments he made on social media that were criticized as singling out disabled and nonwhite students.
Caroline County Supervisor Clay Forehand publicly apologized at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star reported.
Forehand made a post on Facebook last week sharing what he considered to be increasing challenges faced by teachers, the newspaper said. Forehand wrote that teaching has become “even harder when the federal and state says you can’t expel or move someone out of a classroom or school for doing horrible things in school because he may have some sort of disability or additional Melatonin in his skin,” according to the post.
Forehand likely meant to reference melanin, a skin pigment that helps give hair, skin and eyes their color, according to news outlets and commentors online. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the body’s sleep cycle.
In a written statement this week, Forehand said the post was initially discussing Keys Academy, a private school opening in Caroline for students with differing abilities.
Forehand addressed the board and the community at the meeting, apologizing for “using any reference to skin tone or disability as examples when attempting to provide context regarding the tough job that teachers have.” Forehand added that he realized his comments were “insensitive and offensive to many.”
Chairman Jeff Sili emphasized that the remarks were made without the board’s knowledge and did not reflect its views. The board didn’t say whether it took further disciplinary action against Forehand.