By Andreas Yilma Citizen’s News
NAUGATUCK — A school district education committee has began a petition online to remove a school board member after he shared sexually suggestive photos of young girls on social media almost a decade ago.
The Diversity Equity and Inclusion Education Committee began an online petition on Friday on the website Change.org titled “Remove Aaron McCool From Naugatuck Board Of Education!” Nearly 900 people have already signed the petition.
Naugatuck Board of Education member Aaron McCool is refusing to step down, saying that he has changed, after he admitted last week that he re-posted inappropriate photos of young girls in 2014.
One photo shows a girl tied up by her ankles, legs and wrists with duct tape over her mouth. Another shows a girl with a shirt that reads “Work in Progress, Good to Go” with an arrow pointing down. A third photo shows a girl on a bike with the caption, “Jailbait because the best things in life are illegal.”
“As a committee member I would just say that the people reaching out to me are disgusted, dozens and dozens of people,” DEI Education Committee member Jessica Noble said. “We just want him to do the right thing for Naugatuck children and resign.”
McCool has said he will not resign from his position on the borough school board.
Borough police have received a compliant and are currently investigating it at this time, according to PIO Danielle Durette.
School board Chairman Jeffrey Litke and board Vice Chair Marilyn O’Donnell on Wednesday asked McCool to resign after Litke was made aware of the photos on the social media site Tumblr, under the account mccoola1.tumblr.com.
“In 2014, I re-posted several distasteful and inappropriate pictures on a website called Tumblr,” McCool said in a written statement Thursday. “This was wrong and I am sorry for my past behavior. However, this does not reflect who I am today.”
McCool, a Republican, said Litke, who is running as a Democrat for state representative of the 70th House District, blackmailed him during a school board meeting and told McCool if he didn’t resign immediately, the information would go public.
O’Donnell said that McCool is not a victim and no one blackmailed him.
“We gave him the courtesy of letting him know what was going on and it would be in his best interest to resign. We told him we were sure the community probably would be making it public,” O’Donnell said. “Not once did Mr. Litke or myself say ‘resign or we would make it public.'”
McCool was first elected to the school board last year. He is self-employed and has a daughter entering first grade this fall.
The DEI Education Committee have issued a letter to borough officials about McCool.
“It’s shameful how he’s tried to flip this and make himself a victim after having admitted to posting the images and claiming he was being blackmailed, all while this was public information that anyone could have found with a simple Google search,” Noble said.
Litke previously said the school board is working with its legal counsel to determine the next steps.