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Updated: Embattled school board member Fortson resigns
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Updated: Embattled school board member Fortson resigns

Corvallis School Board member Brandy Fortson has resigned their position with the board.

Fortson had been under fire in the community for a Thursday Twitter post in which they declared that “all cops are bastards.”

The Corvallis School District and school board officers criticized Fortson in a Friday statement, noting that the comments were “not in alignment with the guiding principles set by the Board.”

Corvallis School Board Chair Sami Al-AbdRabbuh said that the board has received a resignation letter from Fortson and is planning a special 6:15 p.m. meeting Tuesday to consider accepting the resignation. 

The board also will declare Position 6 vacant and adopt a process for the selection of an interim board member.

In a Facebook post early Saturday morning Cliffy Slocum shared a statement in which Fortson indicated they “will be resigning from office.”

Fortston was not available for comment. Calls to Fortson that on Friday went to voicemail on Saturday received a message indicating that the number was not in service.

Fortson was elected in Position 6 in May to a four-year term that would have expired June 30, 2023.

In the Facebook post Fortson also offered some context on the original tweet, stating that they were speaking only about an incident earlier in the week in Denton, Texas, in which a shopper was arrested because he was using a Walmart shopping cart to take home his groceries.

“My tweet was not shared with context and it was not directed at anyone specific except for that police department,” reads the Facebook post.

Fortson added that “my account at that time was public, stating ‘all opinions are my own and thus do not and did not reflect those of the Corvallis School District.’”

Fortson also said they have “temporarily deactivated my Facebook page and locked my Twitter account for the protection of my family.” Fortson said they received numerous calls and threats and as a result had kept their children home from school, while alerting both the school and the Corvallis Police Department.

Al-AbdRabbuh said that he recognizes that Fortson has the right to their own opinions. The main concerns of the board were a) ensuring that the community knew that in their tweet Fortson was not speaking on behalf of the board and that b) the guiding principles of the board and the district “are not in line with that content.”

Moving forward, Al-AbdRabbuh said, “we need to make sure we continue to lead by example and create an environment that is safe for everyone, and I thank the community for trusting us with this very important responsibility.”

Contact reporter James Day at jim.day@gazettetimes.com or 541-812-6116. Follow at Twitter.com/jameshday or gazettetimes.com/blogs/jim-day.

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