Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy Taking Administrative Leave from Teaching
Charlottesville Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy is taking administrative leave from his teaching position with Albemarle County Public Schools.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Editor's Note: This article contains language some may find offensive. All tweets have been quoted as written. All linked sites were active when this article was published.
Charlottesville Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy is now on administrative leave with pay from his computer science teaching position with Albemarle County Public Schools.
Bellamy's decision to go on leave comes as he faces increasing criticism for posts on his Twitter account between 2009 and 2014.
Local author and blogger, Jason Kessler, captured images of Bellamy's tweets, which show the Charlottesville city councilor at times making what many feel are vulgar, sexist, and racist comments:
- "I DONT LIK[sic] WHIT[sic] PEOPLE SO I HATE WHITE SNOW!" in 2009
- "I’m all for equal opportunity..but a Female Principal with a school full of female teachers is fkn[sic] a sure fire way to fk[sic] up our lil boys" in 2011
- "I really #hate how almost 80% of the black people here talk white" in 2010
Bellamy does not deny he made these and other comments, and has since posted an apology on his Facebook page.
Wes Bellamy released the following statement on Tuesday:
I decided to take some time away so that the kids aren't effected[sic] and I'm not a distraction. My focus is on them, and I want to make sure that they have the best possible environment to learn.
I'm appreciative of ACPS' support in this matter and respecting me and supporting me through all of this.
Albemarle County School Board Chairwoman Dr. Kate Acuff issued the following statement:
We appreciate the concerns of those who have contacted our school division regarding social media postings that have been attributed to Mr. Wes Bellamy, a teacher at Albemarle High School.
Many of these postings contain extremely vulgar and offensive language that directly contradicts the values of our school division. The School Board rejects these statements in their entirety.
In accordance with both School Board policies and the requirements of due process, we are working to completely gather all of the facts in this matter.
As is standard procedure while an investigation is underway, and in the best interests of all who are involved, we agree with Mr. Bellamy's decision to take administrative leave until such time as our investigation has been completed.