TO RESIGN: Clint McCance with Anderson Cooper

  • TO RESIGN: Clint McCance with Anderson Cooper

Clint McCance announced his intention to resign from the Midland School Board last night in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. The story and a video of his interview are here. Heckuva job on this story by CNN.

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Thanks to readers who updated all on this on yesterday’s thread on the story after I’d called it quits for the night.

Was McCance “bullied” into resigning, someone asked last night? I think there’s probably a good story on what pressures were brought to bear to bring this proper conclusion about. The pressure from the state Education Department’s disapproval of McCance’s anti-gay remarks was critical, I’d guess. Legally, schools must provide safe environments. McCance’s remarks gave every reason to a gay child not to feel safe in the Midland schools under his leadership. As events have shown — and contrary to some remarks made by local people — gay kids have attended, and probably currently do attend, the Midland schools.

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He’s apologized now for his remarks and his use of words. “I didn’t bring honor to what I was about,” McCance told Cooper. He said he’d resign for the distractions he’d caused the district and might run again years down the line. Witness to his sincerity will be critical during that time, naturally. As McCance learned graphically, you never know who might be listening or reading and you can’t underestimate how quickly news travels, even from tiny Pleasant Plains.

The Human Rights Campaign welcomed the apology for the words, though noted it doesn’t address the animus behind the words. That isn’t so readily cast off. The HRC also released a letter sent by Midland Superintendent Dean Stanley early in the controversy to Anthony Turner, the former Midland student now living in Canada, who revealed McCance’s remarks.

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McCance’s experience inevitably will be resented by those in the community who share the outlook he expressed originally, if not in such graphic terms. Following is a video Brian Chilson took yesterday of local people who appeared to demonstrate against those calling for McCance’s resignation.