There is now a vacancy on the Florence Board of Education after the group officially accepted the resignation of district 6 representative Jim Fisher Tuesday afternoon. Fisher submitted his resignation last week after a comment he made on Facebook offended many teachers in the school system.
"I made some comments on Facebook that were meant to be informative and light hearted," explained Fisher after the meeting ended.
But he says teaches around the city did not see it that way.
"I heard through the Superintendent and other board members that the backlash was pretty bad," Fisher said.
According to our news partner The Times Daily, the post appeared on Fisher's Facebook wall last week. In the post he expressed his dismay that many teachers do not realize they are paid above the state average and defended the board's decision to increase Superintendent Janet Womack's salary by $22,000.
Fisher says he was upset to learn that teachers across the school system were so offended by his comments that they were actually unable to teach last Friday.
"I wish the flies on the walls would report back to the teachers how much I have defended them, and the hard work that they do, and their generous salaries to knuckleheads in the community that don't understand what they have to put up with," said Fisher.
He says he was never asked to step down, but originally thought it was the right thing to do. But now the former board member says he is not sure resigning was the right move.
"It felt like the right thing to do at the time, I'm not so sure now. I have received a tremendous response from the people who elected me that I should rescind my resignation, that I should take it back, but I couldn't do that," he said.
Florence resident Peggy Brushard says although she believes teachers are under paid, she does not think Fisher needed to resign.
"I don't really see why people would be upset about the comment, you know, it's just a comment. People are entitled to their comments and what they feel," she said.
But Daniel Redfern says, as an elected official, he should have known better.
"He probably shouldn't have put his business on Facebook for other people to see...just kept it to himself, you know, kept his fingers off the keyboard," he said.
Fisher says he hopes to one day serve on the board again.
"I'll be back, I hope. If the people will allow me I'll be back."
The district seat will remain open until the board appoints a replacement. At the meeting the group announced they would be accepting letters of interest from anyone who would like to fill the seat. Applicants must be at least 21 years old and must have lived in District 6 for at least 6 months.