KHOU-TV
The Onalaska school district is about 100 miles north of Houston.

Superintendent in Texas resigns over Facebook post seen as racist

Sept. 25, 2018
Lynn Redden, who led the Onalaska district, posted a derogatory comment about quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is black.

The superintendent of an East Texas school district has resigned in wake of comments about a pro football player that were perceived as racist.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Lynn Redden, who led the Onalaska district, resigned over the weekend amid criticism over a Facebook comment he posted about Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.

After the Texans' Sept. 16 game, Redden left this comment on the Houston Chronicle Facebook page:

"That may have been the most inept quarterback decision I've seen in the NFL. When you need precision decision making you can't count on a black quarterback."

Redden received swift public backlash for his comment.

Texans coach Bill O'Brien said, "Deshaun represents everything that's right about football and life. It's amazing that BS exists, but it does."

Redden, who is white, apologized in his resignation letter and said the comments "have been an embarrassment to the district, my family, friends and to me."

"As an educator, this experience has taught me that I still have a lot to learn," Redden wrote. "My comments were not only uninformed but also hurtful, and I understand now why they were offensive to so many people." 

The school board accepted Redden's resignation letter and issued a statement that it "does not condone negative comments or actions toward any race."

"The district values every individual, and therefore the district will take the appropriate measures to address the situation expeditiously and completely," the statement said.

About 1,100 students are enrolled in the Onalaska district, which is about 100 miles north of Houston. Of those, 86 percent are white and less than 2 percent are black, according to 2017-18 state records.

Redden said he mistakenly thought his Facebook comment was responding to a friend's private message.

In his resignation letter, Redden said he hoped people would remember him for his "body of work over 42 years in public education, rather than by my unwarranted and inappropriate comments."

 

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