Henrico school board chair resigns following controversial social media post

Henrico school board chair resigns following controversial social media post
Michelle “Micky” Ogburn (Source: NBC12)

HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Henrico School Board chair has resigned after she shared a controversial, now-deleted, social media post in March in connection to the decision by Dr. Seuss Enterprises to stop publishing several books.

Michelle “Micky” Ogburn resigned as Chair of the School Board effective at noon on Thursday.

Administrators said Marcie Shea will serve as the acting chair until a new one can be elected during the board meeting on April 22.

On March 2, Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced it would stop publishing six books, including “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran the Zoo”, because of racist and insensitive imagery.

Days after the announcement, Ogburn shared a viral Facebook post on her personal page from an unknown woman.

Ogburn’s comment above the post read, “I love this and Dr. Seuss books.”

The post that was shared, showed an image of Dr. Seuss’s classic Grinch character raising his middle finger. The photo was accompanied by a poem appearing to dismiss the decision made by the company to stop selling several of its books.

The Facebook post shared by HCPS Chair Michelle Ogburn
The Facebook post shared by HCPS Chair Michelle Ogburn (Source: Facebook)

“It is an absolute mistake on my part, that if I could go back in time, see the whole thing, never push the button,” Ogburn said in March following a special closed meeting with the school board.

Ogburn said she saw mention of several classic characters in the poem but claims she didn’t read the full post. Additionally, she said the photo of The Grinch raising his middle finger was not attached at the time.

The Three Chopt representative said the post was on her personal page for several hours before she removed it and wrote an apology.

“No matter your age, you can learn from a mistake and own up to it no matter how unintentional or inadvertent that mistake might be,” Ogburn wrote on Facebook March 5. “To anyone who was offended by the past I shared earlier, I sincerely apologize. I didn’t see the whole post or attached picture before sharing. Lesson learned to read it all and think about things through the eyes of others before posting. As soon as I saw the whole post and it was immediately deleted.”

Following the posting, there were several calls for Ogburn’s resignation.

On Thursday, the NAACP in Henrico also called for her resignation, saying it has ‘lost confidence in Ogburn’s ability to lead the school district,’ citing a pattern of racial insensitivity over the last several years.

Also following the incident, the Henrico School Board voted to participate in “culture sensitivity and implicit bias training.”

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