A West Central Area (WCA) School District board member resigned effective Thursday after it was discovered he posted a video of himself engaging in a lewd sexual act to his social media account.
Jared Olson, a WCA school board member, posted a video to his SnapChat “stories” Wednesday of himself masturbating.
A parent screen recorded the video before it was removed. It was circulated in the community.
The SnapChat video is about 10 seconds long and clearly displays a SnapChat handle with Olson’s name.
Sources familiar with the situation said Olson inadvertently posted the video which he intended to send to his wife.
Superintendent Paul Brownlow and School Board Chair Michelle Nessman informed Alpha News via email that Olson has “resigned his position as a board member and is no longer a member of the West Central Area school board,” effective Thursday. Olson’s name has been removed from the list of school board members on the district’s website.
Rebekah Johnson, a community member, emailed Brownlow and school board members Wednesday asking them to address the matter “promptly and effectively.” She said the school board chair initially “dismissed” her.
Nessman initially responded in an email to Johnson that she was “not aware of any explicit content shared by any board member.” She also wrote that she was not aware of a “state statute that allows a superintendent or board chair to police a school board member’s use of social media.” She thanked Johnson for sharing her “concern.”
Nessman also suggested the profile did not belong to Olson because Johnson had spelled Olson’s first name incorrectly, according to an email exchange provided to Alpha News.
As the video became more widely circulated in the community, parents and community members began demanding Olson’s resignation.
The district confirmed in a Facebook post Friday afternoon that Olson had resigned.
“WCA Schools is aware of the posting of an inappropriate video by a member of the Board of Education. Mr. Jared Olson has submitted his resignation from the Board, effective immediately,” the district said.
Johnson believes Olson was right to resign.
“My gut says they’re trying to brush their missteps up under the rug,” Johnson said. “Michelle’s initial response was out of line. They don’t want anyone to know they received information and totally dismissed it.”
Alpha News reached out to Olson but did not hear back before press time.
Sheila Qualls is an award-winning journalist and former civilian editor of an Army newspaper. Prior to joining Alpha News, she was a Christian Marriage and Family columnist at Patheos.com and a personal coach. Her work has been published in The Upper Room, the MOPS blog, Grown and Flown, and The Christian Post. She speaks nationally on issues involving faith and family.