Pickens school board member under fire - FOX Carolina 21

Pickens school board member under fire

Posted: Updated: April 24, 2012 12:37 AM
Pickens County School Board member Ben Trotter listens to comments from parents and the public at Monday night's meeting. (April 23, 2012/FOX Carolina) Pickens County School Board member Ben Trotter listens to comments from parents and the public at Monday night's meeting. (April 23, 2012/FOX Carolina)
EASLEY, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Pickens County School Board member Ben Trotter could do nothing but listen Monday night as parents spoke their mind about comments he allegedly made.

"I believe as a parent that your alleged statements are true. Nothing less than a resignation, Mr. Trotter, is sufficient," said Brett Turner, a parent of a special needs child.

This is the second month Trotter has had to face parents of special needs children. He allegedly made comments at a school meeting in February and was quoted a saying the word "retard" and saying the children are "taking up space."

Trotter says the principal that made the comments is lying.

"I personally think that Mr. Edwards is a liar and I can prove it," says Trotter, referring to a principal who initially made the allegations.

Trotter says his comments were taken out of context, saying he made the comments while in a school meeting, referring to the bullying special needs children receive.

But some say there's no excuse for any of that language.

"They just want to be treated and spoken to like everyone else and to be appreciated for their abilities," says Elaine Thena, head of the Pickens County Board of Disabilities and Special Needs

She says use of "the 'R' word" should never be acceptable when describing people.  Parents say despite Trotter's denials, they do have written statements from others saying Trotter did say those remarks. And they tell us they want Trotter to own up.

"This man represents our school board and represents an area in this county, and such comments can not be tolerated," Turner says.

No action was taken tonight by the school board in regards to Trotter's alleged actions.

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