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School board president apologizes for "insensitive" suicide post

CENTRAL CITY, Pa. -- A school board member is apologizing for posting sarcastic comments on Facebook about efforts to get fencing along a Pennsylvania bridge that's been used for suicides.

The Tribune-Democrat says Greater Johnstown School Board President Cynthia Ahiborn apologized Wednesday for last week's post. 

In it, Ahiborn wondered whether adding 10-feet of fencing to the McNally Bridge would create "a higher degree of difficulty" for jumpers who "could get at least two more somersaults and maybe a flip in."

The department says it would cost $400,000 to $500,000, plus the cost of replacing some damaged portions each year.

According to CBS affiliate WTAJ-TV, Ahiborn released a statement that reads in part: "I apologize for my post on social media last week. It was inappropriate and highly insensitive. My intention was never to be uncaring to a serious situation many people face." 

"Protecting the health and well-being of all students and residents of the Greater Johnstown community is of the utmost importance," the school district said in a written statement. 

A psychiatric nurse has started an online petition asking the state's transportation department to add the fencing. WTAJ-TV reports the petition has more than 5,000 signatures. A second petition, calling for Ahiborn's resignation, has more than 700 signatures.

It was unclear whether the school district plans on taking any disciplinary action against Ahiborn.

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