Caroline County Supervisor Clay Forehand publicly apologized at the Board of Supervisors meeting this week for a comment he made on Facebook about disruptive students.
Forehand had been discussing how hard teaching has become and wrote last week that the job was “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.” Forehand apparently meant melanin, a dark pigment occurring in hair and skin, and some on the Caroline community Facebook page questioned him about the comment.
Forehand apologized on Facebook the next day, and again at the supervisors’ meeting on Tuesday. In his written statement, he said the subject matter swayed off course as he was talking about the new Tractor Supply store opening in Ladysmith. Forehand responded to a poster’s comment about why enrollment is decreasing in Caroline County schools.
“I want to apologize for using any reference to skin tone or disability as examples when attempting to provide context regarding the tough job that teachers have,” Forehand said. “It was never my intent to single out these groups in a negative light, but in retrospect, that is exactly what I did. It’s obvious from the comments received that the comment was insensitive and offensive to many, and for that, I am truly sorry.
“This is not what I am about and not what I teach my children,” he added. “It was not my intent to hurt anyone or single out any person or group or paint them in a negative way.”
Each board member made a comment about the incident at the start of the meeting. Chairman Jeff Sili emphasized that Forehand’s Facebook remarks were made without the board’s knowledge and “do not reflect my thoughts or the thoughts or position of the Caroline Board of Supervisors. Our shared goal as a board has always been and will always continue to be one of bringing citizens together and making decisions that are best for everyone county-wide.”