Photos for Headline Surfer / Volusia County School Board member Ruben Colon is shown in one of his Facebook pics in a school cafeteria posing for a shot. And this is a copy of the coronavirus meme he posted on his personal Facebook page.
Posted: 2020-03-10 - 20:35:07
By HENRY FREDERICK / Headline Surfer
DELTONA, Fla. -- Less than 48 hours after a 66-year-old Deltona woman was under quarantine for the coronavirus, District 5 Volusia County School Board member Ruben Colon took to Facebook and posted a coronavirus meme denigrating women.
Ironically, Colon lives in Deltona, too, and even more ironic, he's a licensed respiratory therapist employed by Advent Health. The coronavirus attacks the respiratory system in people with weak immune systems and afflicted with respiratory illnesses such as asthma and COPD.
This is what Colon posted Sunday night on his Facebook page: Have not confirmed the source... Has anyone heard about this?? This was followed by a meme that stated: NEWS ALERT!! Women age 30-50 are most likely to carry the CORONAVIRUS without symptoms. Best course of action is to quarantine them away from men and children. The Local Wineries are the designated local quarantine Centers. Send women immediately. Note: their cell phones will be confiscated on arrival to prevent mass hysteria. No contact for 14 day quarantine period.
Colon did not apologize for his actions, instead berating the reporter in private chat after it was made clear by Headline Surfer on his Facebook page that his responses were to be "on the record."
Then Colon deleted the post, and subsequently he unfriended the reporter when informed screenshots were taken of his handiwork.
Soon thereafter, Colon posted a link to an Orlando Sentinel story updating the virus situation regarding cruise ships as if nothing had happened that would call attention to his abhorrent and misogynistic behavior.
It's not as if Colon didn't get the memo on the coronavirus situation. He posted a copy of a press release from the Florida Health Department announcing the first presumptive cases for coronavirus on his Facebook page just days earlier.
Several people who saw a snapshot of Colon's posting, his berating of the reporter who confronted him and his subsequent deletion, were incensed that an elected office holder who votes on policy and procedure for the public school district would behave in such a manner with the number of infected persons and deaths multiplying near and far.
Jim Gillum, 75, of DeLand, a recent widower who lost his wife, Sally, to cancer in November, described Colon's behavior as "sickening and disgraceful," especially at a time when schools in Central Florida and across the country are preparing to close their doors with the growing coronavirus threat.
Gillum, former sheriff of Pasco County back in the 1980s, said it's wholly inappropriate for Colon to have made light of the coronavirus, considering his position as an elected office holder responsible for setting policy on programs and financial issues affecting the public school district of 63,500 enrolled students.
"It's just not appropriate on any level for him to be making light of this," Gillum told Headline Surfer. "He was took an oath and here he is denigrating women."
Gillum, former sheriff of Pasco County back in the 1980s, said it's wholly inappropriate for Ruben Colon to have made light of the coronavirus, considering his position as an elected office holder responsible for setting policy on programs and financial issues affecting the public school district. "It's just not appropriate on any level for him to be making light of this," Gillum told Headline Surfer. "He was took an oath and here he is denigrating women."
Danielle Oldham of Edgewater and a parent said Colon's meme gives her the uncomfortable feeling that he is "misogynistic and not taking his responsibilities very serious, considering this is a deadly virus."
Editor's Note: Since this story was posted on Headline Surfer, a story on Colon's Facebook coronavirus meme denigrating women was published in the online version of the Daytona Beach News-Journal on March 11 and then subsequently in print in which he re-posted a copy of the meme on his Facebook page, giving the impression it had been there all along, and then apologized for it on his Facebook page.
The apology by Colon on his Facebook page and in the News-Journal story states:
“In days last, I had a lapse in judgement and posted this meme related to the coronavirus on my personal Facebook page. When it was brought to my attention that it was insensitive, I immediately deleted the post,” he wrote in part. “I have since apologized after deleting the post. We all make mistakes. However, more importantly, we move on. Those who know my heart know that I would never intentionally aim to offend anyone."