Councilor, teacher faces heat over crude, anti-white tweets
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — A Charlottesville City Council member and Albemarle County teacher is under fire for crude tweets he made years ago that disparaged white people.
News outlets report Albemarle County School Board Chairwoman Kate Acuff said in a statement Tuesday that Wes Bellamy was placed on administrative leave at Albemarle High School, pending an investigation into the tweets from 2009 to 2014.
"Many of these postings contain extremely vulgar and offensive language that directly contradicts the values of our school division," Acuff said. "The School Board rejects these statements in their entirety."
Bellamy, who is black, apologized in a Facebook post Sunday for the messages, which some officials described as racist, sexist, homophobic and sexually explicit in nature.
"In the course of trying to mature and find my way I came to some false conclusions about the world around me and made them known," Bellamy wrote. "Since then, I've furthered my education and gotten married. I'm raising daughters. I have and continue to strive to be a better man, community leader, educator, public servant and overall person. I work every day to become a better version of myself."
Bellamy is also facing calls to be removed from his appointed position on the Virginia Board of Education.
Republican Del. C. Todd Gilbert said it is "unbecoming" of the education board to have a member who has publicized such thoughts.
"Conservatives get accused every day of being racist and sexist and homophobic without any proof of that," Gilbert said. "But here's a guy who regularly expressed all of those sentiments in his Twitter feed. And I just think that some better vetting could have revealed just what a vulgar individual this is."
Brian Coy, a spokesman for Gov. Terry McAuliffe, said the governor contacted Bellamy and is awaiting a return call.
"The governor is horrified by the content that has been reported on recently from Mr. Bellamy's Twitter feed," Coy said.
Bellamy gave no indication that he would heed calls from some quarters to step down from the City Council, where he also holds the ceremonial title of vice mayor. He was the top vote-getter in last year's council election.
Bellamy did not respond to requests from newspapers for comment Tuesday.