TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Kansas governor’s office has issued a statement saying Education Commissioner Randy Watson should resign his position immediately.

“While Education Commissioner Randy Watson has had a long career in advocating for our children in Kansas, the State and the Kansas Board of Education must take issues of derogatory and discriminatory language seriously,” Gov. Laura Kelly said Thursday morning.

“There is no question that Randy Watson must resign his position immediately, given his comments last week. However, the Board of Education must also focus on ways to address these issues going forward. Let’s build on this moment to celebrate diversity and ensure that all Kansas school children are treated with dignity and respect,” Gov. Kelly said.

KSNT has obtained a copy of a social media post that claims to report what Watson said. According to the post, Watson said, “when I was a kid my cousins used to worry about visiting Kansas and getting killed by a tornado. I said well if we are being honest you have a higher chance of coming to Kansas and getting killed by an Indian.”

Watson did not immediately return a telephone message or email Wednesday evening seeking comment, nor did department spokespeople.

KSNT has requested a video of the conference, however, the state board still hasn’t confirmed Watson’s comment of what actions will be taken next.

Kansas’ state school board has scheduled a special meeting for Friday to discuss personnel issues after Education Commissioner Randy Watson made what one board member called an inappropriate remark during a conference last week.

The state’s education commissioner is under fire after comments made during a virtual conference.

Watson did not immediately return a telephone message or email Wednesday evening seeking comment, nor did department spokespeople.

The 10-member elected board appoints the commissioner, who is the top administrator at the State Department of Education. Watson became commissioner in 2014 after serving as superintendent of McPherson’s public schools.

As commissioner, Watson is perhaps best known for pushing for a redesign of the state’s public schools to place more emphasis on personalized learning and better preparing students for adult work.