A school board member finally stepped down Tuesday after his plan to hand out free ammunition to honor victims of the Sandy Hook school massacre misfired.
Gregory Beck drew calls for his resignation almost immediately following his election in November to the Brookfield, Connecticut, school board after making a post about his plan in a Facebook comment.
Beck made the comment Nov. 19 in reference to a Newtown Patch post asking readers to observe the anniversary of the Dec. 14, 2012, shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary by practicing “26 Days of Kindness” to recognize each victim.
Brookfield is adjacent to Newtown, where 26 people — including 20 children — were shot to death by a 20-year-old who had previously fatally shot his mother and later turned the gun on himself.
“I shall buy my friends who are gun enthusiasts a box of ammunition on days 1-26,” Beck posted.
The 26-year-old Beck was elected as a member of A Brookfield Party, which bills itself as a centrist, fiscally conservative alternative to the town’s dominant Republican Party.
The party’s chairman defended Beck initially after the post was made.
“Greg made a Facebook post expressing his frustration at the anti-gun antagonists, not at the people of Newtown,” wrote Rob Gianazza, ABP chairman. “Does Greg owe an explanation of his post and to own it? You bet, and I will encourage him to do just that. Will I ask him to step down? Not in this lifetime.”
Gianazza said Wednesday that the party had not asked Beck to step down.
“As far as A Brookfield Party is concerned, we never made any attempts to encourage or discourage him, other than to use his own judgment and make his own decision,” Gianazza said. “I wish him all the best.”
Beck announced his decision to step down shortly before the public-participation portion of Tuesday’s school board meeting, where his critics were expected to again ask for his resignation.
He had already sat through two board meeting where nearly two dozen people had asked him to quit his post, and two ethics complaints were filed against Beck because the Facebook post was apparently made while he was on duty as a town emergency services dispatcher.
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