Tim Brooks called to resign after social media posts emerge
Updated June 17
After the discovery of controversial social media posts by Scappoose School Board member Tim Brooks, a new political action group in Columbia County has launched a petition demanding his resignation.
Some of Brooks' Facebook posts — which until recently were visible to the public — peddled COVID-19 conspiracy theories, criticized those protesting for racial equality and made crude jokes.
As of Wednesday, June 17, the online petition calling for Brooks' resignation had garnered 386 signatures.
"Why does BLM and all other protesters not care about all the blacks killing blacks? Because they really don't care about anything except causing racial tension in America," Brooks wrote earlier this month.
Other posts advocated using fire hoses on protesters — echoing their use on civil rights protesters in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963 — and claimed Democrats wanted rioting to increase until law enforcement opened fire in order to create "a Kent state moment." That post referred to the 1970 Kent State massacre in which National Guardsmen killed four students and injured nine others who were protesting the Vietnam war.
A post from another Facebook user that Brooks shared referenced hanging Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
Sharing a photo of armed counter-protesters at a Black Lives Matters protest in Washington state, Brooks wrote on June 1 "This needs to happen in every town. Sources say Antifa and black lives matter will be showing up in St Helens on Wednesday evening because some high school students from St Helens wanted to have a peaceful protest but cancelled it, and now the liberals from Columbia county plan on stirring things up."
He also shared posts arguing against the economic shutdowns and public health recommendations that have come in response to COVID-19, including a post that claimed COVID-19 "was planned to take down Trump/Economy and force a new trade deal. China had motives. Liberals had motives. The DS NWO had motives," he wrote referring to the deep state and new world order conspiracy theories.
Other posts related to COVID-19 shared false information about death tolls, how the virus spreads, and the efficacy of masks and other health safety measures.
"Hate cops? The next time you need help call a crackhead," read one post shared by Brooks in the past month. "I hope y'all stole condoms so we don't have another generation of idiots," read another post, referencing the looting that has occurred during some protests.
"The problem is simple: Kids today don't know the fear of hearing leather being rapidly pulled through seven Wrangler belt loops," read another.
Some teachers said that past school board members, even when their political views differed, consistently engaged in respectful, thoughtful discussions — a far cry from the tone of Brooks' posts. Brooks' rhetoric wouldn't be acceptable coming from a student, teachers said, so it isn't acceptable from someone in a position of authority.
Brooks said his Facebook posts were personal and not connected to his responsibilities as a school board member.
"I post about things that are important to me like family, our great country, the military, and current events," Brooks wrote in an email to the Spotlight. "Currently across our nation people are being bullied into silence for a view that a minority deems unacceptable. I don't think anyone should be intimidated into silence by those that shout the loudest."
In Vancouver, Washington, a school board member resigned earlier this month after similarly advocating the use of fire hoses on protesters.
Brooks joined the school board for a four-year term in 2017, beating out incumbent Joe Lewis.
Robert Backus, a 2015 graduate of Scappoose High School, was the first to openly call for Brooks' resignation earlier this month. The petition was started by Sabbath Mikelson as part of a new progressive political action group in Columbia County.
Brooks' posts "were angry, hateful, demeaning, disparaging, disrespectful, and hostile to members of this community," Scott Deckelmann — who has been a teacher at Scappoose High School for 14 years — wrote in a comment on the petition. "He may have a right to share his thoughts about current events, but he has a responsibility to this community to not spread falsehoods or engage in hateful rhetoric that will harm the citizens he has been elected to serve."
*The post on Brooks' Facebook page that referenced hanging Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama was an item Brooks shared, but did not write.
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