NAACP denounces school board, chairman - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

NAACP denounces school board, chairman

May 20, 2005

Americus- At a noon news conference, the local and South East Regional branches of the National Association for the Advance of Colored People called for parents to make their voices heard by the Sumter County Board of Education.

The group says that black administrators are being undercut by a racially-motivated lack of support by the board. They say that Board Chairman Michael Busman should resign.

The NAACP says that with a public school system student body that is 75% black, black parents "Ought not put up with racially motivated mistreatment of black administrators." They ask black citizens to attend board meetings, and make their concerns heard.

The organization says that the recent retirement by black assistant superintendent Dr. James Drew was really a case of Drew being beaten down by the board. Drew told us, however, that after 30 years as an educator, he was just ready to retire.

When Superintendent Dr. Franklin Perry submitted his resignation, he said he did so to quit before the board could fire him by not renewing his contract. Perry said that since test scores improved under his watch, and he got no negative feedback from board members, he was left to conclude that the white members of the board wanted him gone. The vote to dismiss Perry broke on racial lines, 5 - 4.

Michael Busman says that there is no racial plan in effect, and that he has only one vote when matters come up before the board. He says that he votes his conscience for what's best for the students in the system.

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