A Texas school board has unanimously accepted the resignation of the Galveston school superintendent after he made sexist comments belittling women, whom he compared to “worker bees.”
The Galveston Independent School Board voted early Tuesday to part ways with Dr. Jerry Gibson after an hours-long debate, reported the station KTRK.
The move came in response to Gibson’s remarks about the role of women in securing $189 million in funding for the new Ball High School, which he made during a groundbreaking ceremony.
“The ladies are the worker bees. They are going to get it done behind the scenes and keep pushing and taking care of the details. Is that right, men?” Gibson was quoted as saying.
“They do their best to make us look good, even though we don’t give them much to work with. But we need a man to push this through,” he added.
Gibson’s public comments were recorded by the Galveston Daily News, but the superintendent denied making them until the news outlet released the audio file.
Dr. Jerry Gibson is out as Galveston Independent School District superintendent over sexist comments likening women to “worker bees.” Galveston Independent School District
Gibson later apologized for what he characterized as his “unfortunate comments.”
“Being a husband devoted to his wife and a father to two beautiful daughters, I am mortified at the thought that I’d say or do anything that suggests I am a chauvinist or somehow lack respect for women,” he said in a statement to the newspaper.
“I believe my long record of public service demonstrates that I work well with female colleagues, have consistently promoted women to positions of authority and responsibility and have advocated for women in all my professional endeavors,” he continued.
“Yet I have offended many of the very women I admire while undermining my support for them when I uttered the unfortunate remarks that have since been widely quoted,” Gibson said.
The Galveston Independent School Board voted unanimously early Tuesday to accept Gibson’s resignation. abc13
During the school board meeting overnight, some students and parents came to Gibson’s defense.
“I know that this was not his intention,” Ball High School senior Bailey Gonzalez said, according to reporting by KHOU11.
Parent Archie Hart said: “If anybody in this room has ever said anything they wish that they hadn’t said, or hadn’t said anything that they wish that they’d said differently, raise your hand because I’m in the club that has.”
Parents and students were given a chance to weigh in on the controversy surrounding Gibson before the vote. abc13
Other speakers lambasted the high-ranking official.
“Misogyny is not the policy of this district,” mom Nicole Obert said.
Parent Lauren Scott took issue with Gibson’s initial denial, pointing out that he made his remarks on a microphone in front of at least 100 people.
“We all heard it,” she said. “And just for the record, I have a son, and I don’t think that he needs to listen to that trash either.”
Galveston ISD board president Anthony Brown said Gibson will resign effective June 30. abc13
As part of the school board’s plan, Gibson, who has served as superintendent since 2021, will resign effective June 30 and will be paid the remainder of his $247,450 annual salary, as well as a $70,000 severance package.
Gibson will not be involved in the day-to-day operations of the district through the end of his term.
The school board trustees are expected to name an interim superintendent while they search for a full-time replacement.