UNION COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - A Union County Public School board member is resigning after accusations that he made “insensitive posts” on social media last week.
Monday morning, Union County Public School leaders discussed the posts they say were made made by Travis Kiker, who was elected to the Board of Education in 2018. His term was set to expire in November 2022.
Union County Public Schools Board Chair Melissa Merrell says Piker posted the insensitive memes and video on his personal Facebook account. Merrell says the board “took a look at Mr. Piker’s account and each one of us [board members] determined that they were insensitive and inappropriate.”
School leaders were notified of the post before lunchtime Thursday, amid graduations, and went through various conversations.
Kiker submitted a voluntary resignation following the accusations. His resignation is effective immediately.
The topic was addressed at 10 a.m. Monday, preceding the school board’s previously scheduled meeting. Merrell says the board was united in condemning these insensitive posts saying they were “shocking” and “inappropriate”.
Union County Public Schools sent the following images to WBTV and we are sharing the screenshots below.
**WARNING: The following pictures are disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised
Kiker asked Merrell to read the following statement after announcing his resignation:
“It is with a heavy heart that I submit my immediate resignation from the Union County Board of Education. For one and half years, I have put the students, families, and 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 42,000 children and our 5,400 employees. I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge my utmost respect and support for our teachers. I wish the very best to the Board, our staff, and our families.”
During Monday’s conversation, Merrell also announced a Diversity Citizen’s Committee that has apparently been in the works for “some time.” Leaders plan to form a citizen’s committee advisory that will focus on diversity issues within the schools.
Union County Schools represents over 42,000 students. The topic came into focus when leaders were made aware that some students brought up diversity conversations.
Merrell says the advisory wants to be sure everyone feels valued and accepted within their schools.
The Board will begin the process of filling the partisan, at-large seat by reaching out to the Union County Board of Elections this week.
WBTV has reached out to Kiker for further comment.