COLUMBUS, Ohio - A leading Ohio education official was greeted with a mixture of anger and support Monday after delivering a long-awaited apology for her Facebook posting of an Adolf Hitler photo alongside opposition to President Barack Obama's gun control proposals.
Ohio Board of Education President Debe Terhar has been caught in a firestorm of criticism for the re-post on her personal page, which some interpreted as comparing Obama to the Nazi leader.
She said Monday she was sincerely sorry, did not intend to offend anyone, and would never do it again.
"I fully understand that as an elected official of the state, what I may say and do may find its way to the public domain and therefore must be measured and tempered," said Terhar, whose presidency was backed by Republican Gov. John Kasich.
Board member Ann Jacobs called for Terhar to resign. Jacobs said she had been barraged by constituents offended by the post and the flap has damaged Terhar's ability to lead.
"Her comparison of our president to the monstrous killer Adolf Hitler is unconscionable," Jacobs said.
Board member C. Todd Jones said he was upset by the post, but believed Terhar's apology should be accepted and mark an end to the controversy.
"I'm one of those people who was disappointed to see the statement, and I'm glad to see that you've owned up to it," he told Terhar, calling the post "a thing that has dirtied everyone that it's touched."
A formal motion to remove Terhar from her post was rejected 10-6.
Board member Mary Rose Oakar said the controversy was not going away and urged Terhar to stay on the board but to step aside as president. She was unanimously elected by members to lead the board.