An Arkansas high school teacher has resigned as parents and students were planning to boycott school events in response to his references to Barack and Michelle Obama as "spider monkey" and "first chimp." The online posts attributed to Trent Bennett of Malvern High School have since been deleted, though a KATV reporter has posted screenshots to Twitter, per Time. After the Malvern School District announced Monday that it was investigating "inappropriate" comments using "racially charged rhetoric" posted to an employee's personal Facebook page, a special meeting was held Thursday, during which the school board unanimously voted to accept Bennett's resignation.
The Arkansas State Conference of the NAACP had promised to hold protests if Bennett did not resign, per Arkansas Matters. Students and parents had also vowed to boycott school sporting events, reports the New York Daily News. "I am aware of the impact this has had, and though I negate that I have ever conducted myself in a less than professional manner in regard to my students, I have resigned my teaching position," Bennett says in a statement. "I would like to issue an apology for the outrage and hurt feelings caused by these comments. I acknowledge that they were disrespectful and offensive." He also says he's deleted his social media accounts to avoid "future issues." (A West Virginia nonprofit director was fired for a similar post, and a Buffalo school board member may be ousted for his Obama slurs.)