COVERT — A Covert school board member has resigned after tweeting last week that no one died during the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
Board of Education Secretary Val Bury submitted a resignation letter Tuesday morning that was posted on the school district’s Facebook page. It read, ““Dear Board Members, Covert Schools, Covert Community & Staff, In lieu of my recent comment on Twitter, I apologize to all. As a board member representing children of this community I am sorry. I am resigning immediately. Valerie Bury.”
Bury’s controversial Tweet was posted on CNN’s twitter feed several hours after the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Fla., when a CNN reporter interviewed U.S. Rep. Jim Himes of Connecticut.
Himes told the reporter that he recalled the 2012 shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in which 26 people died. He compared the nation’s response to that shooting with the one in Parkland by stating, “People will wish everybody thoughts and prayers ... and the Congress of the United States will do absolutely nothing.”
His Tweet prompted Bury, a member of the National Rifle Association and a Donald Trump supporter, to respond, “No one died at Sandy Hook!!”
A CNN Twitter follower in Seattle read Bury’s online comment several hours after she posted it and was shocked after reading her Twitter account profile, which listed her as a school board member.
“When I saw her denial of the Newton, Conn. shooting comment, I clicked on her profile and saw she was an elected official on a school board and thought it was disgusting,” said Craig L. Cummins, who contacted The Herald-Palladium about Bury’s comment.
Upon learning about Bury’s controversial Tweet, The HP tried to reach her by phone and email regarding what prompted her to make that remark, but she didn’t respond.
She did not respond to inquiries Tuesday as to why she resigned.
Two school board members stated last week that Bury’s remark was not representative of school board beliefs.
“The Sandy Hook incident is a day that caused America to grieve deeply because of the many loss of lives just as the Florida shooting,” board President Maria Gallegos said. “My prayers and thoughts of comfort are with each family member, all students and faculty of that school district.”
Vice President Mike Dambrowski said, “It’s an unfortunate comment to make, especially for a school board member. She doesn’t speak for the Covert school board. She’s welcome to her personal opinions, but I certainly don’t agree with it.”
Bury has served on the school board since May of 2016 when she defeated School Board President Diana Parrigin, who was recalled in the same election. Bury organized the recall effort after Parrigin refused to resign after being arrested for marijuana possession in 2015.
School board members will now have to accept applications from Covert school district residents interested in completing the remainder of Bury’s four-year term and then appoint someone to replace her.