AMITE, LA (WVUE) - There was a heated school board meeting Tuesday night in Tangipahoa Parish as community members blasted a board member who posted - then deleted - a picture of a noose on Facebook.
Parents, pastors and members of the community called for the resignation of school board member Mike Whitlow.
"I am making it my mission that if there is not a resignation I will make it my personal mission to make sure that person is removed from the board," said Erica Williams.
Those comments came after a recent Facebook post on Whitlow's personal page. A screen grab from a viewer shows the image of a noose with the caption: "If we want to make America great again we will have to make evil people fear punishment again."
Whitlow claims he was upset by the recent attacks on innocent people in our nation and he believes the country would be better served with more stringent sentences of imprisonment for violent offenders. When he came across an article that advocated for such stiffer sentences, Whitlow says he simply shared it. Whitlow later deleted the picture then followed up with a post apologizing to anyone who was offended. But, that was too little too late for outraged parents, parish leaders and neighbors.
"I don't know what else to say other than I humbly apologize and ask for your forgiveness," Whitlow said at the meeting. "At this time I am not prepared to resign. I've talked to my family, with many of my constituents, my pastor about this and will continue to do that. I will ask at this time, madam president, I believe it would be in the best interest for the system if any leadership positions that I have be removed from those immediately."
In a statement Tuesday, Whitlow said the article he shared had no racial or discriminatory overtones. But he said after receiving comments about the attached picture he immediately removed the link and apologized. Whitlow went on to say, "for those that know me, I'm confident you'll attest that I'm a man of faith and inclusion."