Thursday, January 9
BROOKFIELD, Conn. (AP) — A school board member in a Connecticut town neighboring the one where 26 people were killed at an elementary school has resigned amid an outcry over his comment that he would observe the Newtown massacre's anniversary by distributing ammunition.
Gregory Beck faced numerous demands that he resign from the Board of Education in Brookfield, which borders Newtown, where 20 first-graders and six educators were killed Dec. 14, 2012. Beck agreed to step down from the board Tuesday, just two months after being elected, The News-Times of Danbury (http://bit.ly/1deq5Ea ) reported.
During a tribute to the Newtown victims called "26 Days of Kindness," Beck wrote on Facebook that his acts of kindness would be giving ammunition to his friends on each of the 26 days. He later apologized, saying he recognized the comment was insensitive and indefensible. He also said it wasn't intended to be malicious.
"It is said that hindsight is 20/20 and looking back I should never have even conceived of making the comment," Beck said in November. "I unequivocally apologize to the citizens of Brookfield, Newtown and all others who I have offended or hurt. I am sorry for my mistake and ask for your forgiveness, which I hope to earn over time."
Beck, 26, couldn't immediately be reach for comment Thursday. A man who answered Beck's home phone said he wasn't there.
"I think Greg showed maturity and consideration for his town in his decision," said Ray DiStephan, the former school board chairman who lost his seat to Beck and was one of his critics. "The entire situation was very unfortunate, but I think the Board of Education has plenty to focus on as they move past this issue."
At least 20 people asked Beck to resign during two school board meetings. He also faces an investigation by the town's Board of Ethics, which received two complaints that Beck posted the comment on Facebook while at work as a town emergency services dispatcher.
A hearing on the ethics complaints is scheduled for Thursday.
Information from: The News-Times, http://www.newstimes.com