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Henrico School Board Selects Roscoe Cooper As New Chair

Roscoe Cooper, new chairman for the Henrico School Board. (Source: Henrico Public Schools)

Henrico’s five-member school board selected Roscoe Cooper of the Fairfield District to act as its new chair. Marcie Shea of the Tuckahoe District remains the board’s vice chair. 

Cooper replaces former Chairwoman Micky Ogburn, who stepped down earlier this month. She faced calls for her resignation after sharing an insensitive post on Facebook

In the post, Ogburn expressed support for children’s author Dr. Seuss after his estate chose to discontinue several books that included racist caricatures. 

The post featured an image of the Grinch, a Dr. Seuss character, raising his middle finger, along with a poem that praised Seuss’ work and called on “snowflakes” to “go to hell” and “leave Dr. Seuss alone.”

Ogburn told reporters in April she would not step down, but resigned from her leadership role after mounting pressure from the public and her colleagues. In a press release calling for Ogburn’s removal, the Henrico NAACP Branch cited a “years-long pattern of racial insensitivity.” 

As board members prepared to vote on a new Chair, Alicia Atkins of the Varina District nominated herself to replace Ogburn. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Atkins had asked Ogburn to step down behind closed doors. Her motion failed.

“I want to say thank you, because we would not be here and shifting to this moment where we are right now, talking about the future, without the advocacy that you did for yourselves,” Atkins said. “I want you to know that I get it. I want us to move forward towards a better normal. I want us to be positive examples, learn together, cry together, celebrate together, and the ultimate thing is to win together.”

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