A Virginia school board member may lose his job after sending several emails attacking Michelle Obama.
School board members in Isle of Wight county voted 4 to 1 to call for Herb DeGroft’s resignation after he used his board account to send disparaging emails about the first lady. DeGroft was the only one to vote against the proposal.
One of DeGroft’s emails contained a picture of bare-breasted, African female warriors. Underneath the photo was the caption, “Michelle Obama’s high school reunion.” Another email claimed that National Geographic paid Mrs. Obama $50 to model in the magazine.
Some school board members said DeGroft has been sending similar emails since January 2012, but DeGroft claimed that the emails were meant to be political and not racial.
“There was no intention or motivation on my part to be inappropriate or to be discriminatory against in forwarding some e-mails of hundreds I receive,” DeGroft wrote in an apology to Isle of Wight residents. So far, DeGroft has not stepped down from his position.
Some of the emails were also forwarded by Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Byron “Buzz” Bailey to other board members and county employees. Bailey came under fire last month for saying “Save the Confederate money, the south will rise again,” during a meeting. Both incidents led to the resignation of Division Superintendent Katrise Perera, but the Board of Supervisors voted to keep Bailey in his current position.
Earlier this year, an Alabama teacher was suspended for referring to the first lady as “fat butt Michelle Obama.”
High school psychology teacher Bob Grisham was suspended for 10 days without pay for his rant, which also included derogatory comments about gay people. A student recorded the rant and gave it to school authorities.
Last August, Spanish magazineFuera de Serie depicted Mrs. Obama as a nude slave on its cover. The first lady’s head was Photoshopped onto the painting Portrait d’une négresse by Marie-Guillemine Benoist. The painting is generally seen as supportive of women’s rights, but not everyone felt the cover was intended as a compliment.
Do you think Herb DeGroft should resign from the school board?