Embattled JefCoEd Board Member Donna Pike Says She Won’t Resign

JefCoEd Board member Donna Pike (Source: Jefferson County Board of Education)

Donna Pike isn’t going anywhere, no matter what three of her fellow members on the Jefferson County Board of Education would like.

Pike made a brief statement to BirminghamWatch on Wednesday in which she said she has no intention of resigning, despite accusations of racism stemming from items she shared on her Facebook page.

“This has certainly been a learning experience for me and my family,” Pike said. “I vow to continue with vigor serving the children of Jefferson County and the people who elected me.”

Her statement comes after three JefCoEd members — President Oscar Mann, Vice President Martha Bouyer and Ronnie Dixon — held a called meeting Tuesday morning in which their only item of business was to pass a resolution calling for Pike to step down.

“The postings in question are repugnant to the Board’s values and undermine public confidence in the Board’s willingness and ability to serve as a standard bearer for the cause of equal educational opportunity and to garner broad support for the Board’s mission,” the resolution read in part.

Pike was not present at Tuesday’s meeting, nor was Jackie Anderson-Smith, who said she could not attend because of a conflict with her Democratic primary runoff campaign for the circuit court clerk’s office.

Last week at a board committee meeting, African-American activist Carlos Chaverst Jr. confronted Pike about the posts, including one about a controversial statement by comedian Roseanne Barr. That statement led to ABC shutting down the popular revival of her self-titled situation comedy. Pike shared a widely distributed meme that asked why other show business figures had not been taken to task for other alleged racist statements.

Pike has since removed the posts from her Facebook page and apologized publicly.

Pike and Anderson-Smith typically have sided with each other on contentious issues before the JefCoEd board, while Mann, Bouyer and Dixon have typically allied on the other side, usually in support of proposals by Superintendent Craig Pouncey.

In the recent primary election for two board seats, Pouncey publicly endorsed Mann and Bouyer, while Pike supported Mann’s opponent, Jake Ware. Pouncey also contributed $500 to Bouyer’s campaign; Mann said he turned down an offer for a similar contribution by Pouncey to his campaign. Mann won his primary race and is unopposed in the general election. Bouyer won her Democratic primary but faces Republican challenger Eddie Brown, a former JefCoEd supervisor, in the general election.

The board meets again in its regular monthly session on Thursday, June 28 at 9 a.m.