During a special-called board meeting Sept. 10, Stillings said he shared the post—a meme that referenced players taking a knee in the NFL—without thinking and that he agrees to the post was offensive.
"Fellow board members, I humbly apologize for creating this controversy, this discussion, this unnecessary distraction from the good work that we do," Stillings said. "Last Thursday, I was sitting in a waiting room checking email, thumbing through my now-deleted personal social media page. I very hastily read one particular posting from someone I did not know—it was a public posting—and without pausing to consider, without thinking through what that posting was implying or any meaning that any subsequent reader might infer from it, I hit the ‘share’ button. Shortly thereafter I received a call from the central office on my cell phone telling me that someone had contacted the central office about it. I immediately pulled over off of the highway and I very carefully reread the shared post and frankly I was heartbroken that I had sent it. I immediately deleted it; I posted an apology; and I’m an individual who owns his mistakes. I made amends where needed and I learn from those mistakes. In that apology, I invited anyone that I offended to connect with me for more deeper conversation that might help me be more sensitive and more understanding. I wanted to hear their story. I’m very appreciative of the members of the community who reached out to me in good faith and talked with me."
Stillings said he will move aside to allow another board member to serve as board chair.
"After serving as board chair for six years, and especially in light of this incident, I believe it's time for someone else to serve as chair," Stillings said.
The board of education will meet Sept. 14 at 6:30 p.m. to vote on new officers.
See a full statement from FSSD board on the social media post here.