The US school board official who wrote on his Facebook page that “queers” and “fags” should kill themselves says he will resign.

Clint McCance, who is the vice-president of the Midland school district in Arkansas , said last night he was sorry for his “hurtful” remarks.

Speaking to the openly gay journalist Anderson Cooper on his 360 CNN programme, he said: “My posts I made that were very hurtful, very ignorant in nature. Looking back on it right now and getting to, you know, scrutinise my own self and what I did. It’s horrible. And what I wrote was horrible.”

He added: “We need to address the problem of the depression in these kids. And we need to fix this. And it don’t need to be on a small level. It needs to be – needs to start at the top.”

Gay groups called for Mr McCance’s resignation after he posted the anti-gay rant on his Facebook page after Spirit Day last Wednesday. The event was held to remember gay teenagers who have committed suicide.

In the postings, first reported by The Advocate, he wrote that the teenagers had “sinned”, that he would disown his children if they were gay and that he was pleased that AIDS kills gay men.

In one comment, he wrote: “It pisses me off though that we make a special purple fag day for them. I like that fags cant procreate. I also enjoy the fact that they often give each other aids and die. If you arent against it, you might as well be for it.”

When his remarks were criticised by others, he wrote: “I would disown my kids they were gay. They will not be welcome at my home or in my vicinity. I will absolutely run them off. Of course my kids will know better. My kids will have solid christian beliefs. See it infects everyone.”

During the interview on CNN last night, Mr McCance said that his family had received hate mail after he posted the offending remarks.

On Wednesday, Tom Kimbrell, Arkansas commissioner of education, said he had “grave concerns” about the situation and that he was “seriously questioning” whether Mr McCance could remain in his post.