NAACP investigates school board - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

NAACP investigates school board

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May 7, 2004

Fitzgerald- Mother of nine Brenda Scott gets emotional when she talks about disciplinary actions taken against her children.

"That damaged my child and me, and I told him that I would never let anyone ever damage us again," she cries.

She says her daughter was suspended for five days after yelling during her son's graduation, a punishment she says was simply uncalled for.

"For us to graduate, that's an honor. You want us to come to your football games and pay our money and yell. Why can't we admonish these children when they are walking across that stage?"

Dozens of other parents have similar complaints.

"I have a stack of papers on my desk now, probably about 52 parents have come to me, some black, some white have come to me talking about disciplinary actions," says Rev. Donald Walker.

"Most of our black students are disproportionately penalized in our school system and the way that they are handling these students they are not graduating because that are continuing to suspend our young men and our young women," says NAACP President Rev. James Davis.

They say Fitzgerald High School students have been suspended for everything from chewing gum to wearing sunglasses. Now, the Ben Hill County NAACP is leading an investigation into the parents' allegations.

"The NAACP has decided that they are going to make every effort to make sure that every student is treated fairly," Davis says.

Scott says she'll probably remove her son from Fitzgerald High, but will continue to fight for two of her other children who remain in Ben Hill Schools.

"We're not just going to let it get tabled and go uncovered as we've been doing in the past," she says.

And she's calling on all other parents to take a stand as well.

The NAACP is urging all parents to come to prayer vigil at 6:30 Tuesday night at the school board office just before the next school board meeting.

Posted at 7:05 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com