In a recent article, the local NAACP has requested the resignation of two Dublin School District representatives as an effort to eliminate racism in schools. The two school district employees that are the focus of the request are husband and wife. Eliminating racism in schools requires a shift in the culture and eliminating parts of the culture will only drive the undesired behavior underground.

According to the article, the parents who originally made the complaint were at the meeting, and say their 12 year old son told them what Perry said.

“If your parents voted for Obama, they’re evil and I don’t see how your parents could vote for someone that’s Muslim” said Jimmie Scott.

Scott says he immediately requested a parent-teacher conference, but that made things more difficult.

“Once we got there, the teacher in question, her husband came there” said Scott.

Nancy Perry’s husband Bill Perry sits on the Board of Education. Scott says in that meeting they never discussed the comments made in class, but instead the Perry’s showed him what he called propaganda from the Internet.

“She showed it to me and said, ‘See, Obama is a baby killer. He aborts babies at nine months old as they’re coming through the birth canal.’

 

The board entered a closed session to discuss personnel. Bill Perry was asked to sit out of the meeting, but there were no disciplinary actions announced.

 

“We had a discussion during the executive session and there will be actions that we move forward with administratively and we’ll publicly announce the things that take place over the next few days” said superintendent Chuck Ledbetter.

 

If the Dublin NAACP desires to see the Dublin School District enforce resignations that will result in eliminating racism in schools the main are of concern is the teachers rights.

 

Georgia Teacher Rights

 

According to the Official Code of Georgia §§ 20-2-940, et seq., governs the demotion, dismissal, and suspension of professional, certificated school district employees in Georgia. This law also governs the termination and suspension of school district employees who have a contract for a definite term. The law applies equally to all employees who have contracts with the school district, but does not apply to at-will employees without contracts.

Termination or suspension can only be based only on the eight grounds listed in O.C.G.A. § 20-2-940(a), and the school district is required to hold a hearing before this happens. (Suspension is without pay and may last up to 60 days under O.C.G.A. § 20-2-943(a)(1)(b), and the suspended employee cannot be working at this time.) These eight specific grounds for suspension or termination are as follows:

  1. Incompetency–for example, deficient record keeping or a high failure rate of students.
  2. Insubordination–for example, failure to obey instructions.
  3. Willful neglect of duties–for example, failure to complete lesson plans and grades.
  4. Immorality–for example, sexual encounters at school.
  5. Inciting, encouraging, or counseling students to violate any valid state law, municipal ordinance, or policy or rule of the local board of education–for example, encouraging students to protest a board of education policy.
  6. To reduce staff due to loss of students or cancellation of programs–for example, due to budgetary considerations.
  7. Failure to secure and maintain necessary educational training–for example, a teacher who does not possess the necessary teacher certifications and failed to obtain it during a provisional probationary period.
  8. Any other good and sufficient cause–for example, making false statements about the school administration or assaulting a student.

In essence, the teacher has a right to voice her political opinion. The formal request by the NAACP will fall short of the resignation expectations unless the school district can prove that her comments violates on of the above mentioned rules.

Student Safety

According to the Dublin Public Schools, it is the responsibility of the Dublin City Schools to provide a safe environment for all students in all learning environments. 

Teachers are employed by the Dublin City Board of Education and are directly responsible to the building principals but, it is the teacher who is directly responsible for the safety of the students. Teachers who act in an illegal or improper manner or neglect to take appropriate action, can be held personally liable for any injuries to students.

This should be the area of attack for the NAACP. They should begin discussions about how the White teachers can make the Black students feel safer. Feeling safer will include some of the derogatory remarks that are made form a political perspective. This strategy will reduce racism in schools, resulting in less disciplinary consequences for Black students and higher levels of academic achievement.

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Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
www.positiveracialrelationships.com
PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012

 

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