by David Koon
Stanley said the first he heard of McCance's intention to resign was Thursday night when McCance announced it on the Anderson Cooper 360 show on CNN. McCance came under fire for remarks about homosexuals on his Facebook page.
Stanley said the letter would go to school board president Bryson Wood. Stanley was out of town when the controversy in his district came to a boil, but he worked behind the scenes with Arkansas Education Commissioner Tom Kimbrell and both issued statements in favor of McCance's resignation.
UPDATE: We talked briefly with Wood Friday morning then got an update this afternoon. Wood said that after trying several times to reach McCance last night after his appearance on CNN and most of the day today, he finally got in touch with McCance around 3 p.m. When he tried to pin McCance down on when he would submit a formal letter of resignation to the school board so they could act upon it, McCance refused to be specific.
"He would not be specific to me as to when he would submit it," Wood said. "He indicated anywhere from three days to a week." At first he said within a week, then he said within a few days."
Like Superintendent Stanley, Wood said that McCance's announcement on CNN last night was the first he'd heard of McCance's intention to resign.
Wood said that protestors have indicated that they would be back at the school on Monday if McCance's resignation hadn't been made official.
"We're wanting this to go away for the sake of our kids at our school so this doesn't cause any more hardship on anyone," Wood said. "We're wanting to bring some closure to it, but we're kind of at his mercy until we receive that resignation."
UPDATE II: KTHV Channel 11 has revealed another odd wrinkle in the ongoing saga of Clint McCance — a man named Stephen Blackwood, who says he drove from Little Rock to Pleasant Plains, met with McCance (who Blackwood says showed up to their meeting carrying a pistol) and talked the embattled school board member into announcing his resignation. Blackwood appeared with McCance during his appearance on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 Thursday night. Blackwood runs a foundation dedicated to the memory of his son, who committed suicide in 2008.
More on the jump...
When a reporter for the Arkansas Times spoke to Stanley at his office in Pleasant Plains yesterday, he said he'd received over 15,000 e-mails since the controversy began over hateful posts to McCance's Facebook page, and that the phone had been ringing "non stop" at the district office.
Things have apparently slowed down considerably since McCance's resignation was announced last night, with Stanley saying he has gotten 30 to 40 e-mails today in reference to the issue, as opposed to "30 or 40 every 10 minutes" at the height of the controversy earlier this week. The phone calls have also slowed, though Stanley said they're still getting some, including harassing calls.
Regarding McCance's resignation, Stanley said: "Obviously, I'm happy to see resolution. I'm not happy that the whole situation happened, and I hate to lose a board member. But I'm glad to get back to a little normalcy and reality... We're going to get back to the business of educating our kids."
Stanley said that a replacement for McCance would be appointed by the school board. The appointee will serve until the next school election, when a successor will be vote on to complete the term.