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Citizens Group: Principal Should Be Commended

Posted February 19, 2008
Updated February 22, 2008

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— A Wake County citizens group announced Friday that it supports the principal who held separate assemblies for black and Hispanic students after a fight at her school in December.

In a news release, the Coalition of Concerned Citizens for African American Children said Principal Teresa Abron “should be commended for her efforts to counsel the students who were accused of fighting.”

“As a community we believe that (Abron) should be commended for displaying courage, integrity, honor and commitment to our students here,” the statement read.

Abron said she pulled seventh-graders from class last December because of a fight between a black girl and a Hispanic girl.

Wake County public school officials said the fight had gang overtones and that one of the girls wore an article of clothing to school in an effort to intimidate the other girl.

In an internal e-mail sent after the fight, school administrators asked teachers to send black students to the school's auditorium, and when they returned, to send Hispanic students. The e-mail asked teachers to be as discreet as possible when dismissing the students.

"All of the students were not involved, but we were not able to identify all of the students," Abron said. "We prefaced our conversation with telling the students that, 'We know some of you don't need to be here.'"

White students were not called to the assembly, Abron said, because they were not identified as being involved. Had they been, they would also have been called, she said.

"We are in a better place today than we were yesterday because of the conversation with our students," Abron said in an interview with WRAL last December.

Coalition officials praised the principal for counseling the students as opposed to suspending the ones involved.

Some parents said they didn’t think Abron handled the situation appropriately.

"I personally would not have suggested doing that," said parent Patty Knio. "I would have done it another way."

The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina expressed concerns over the assemblies and issued a statement that it was looking into the reports.

"Principal Abron is to be commended for attempting to respond to the specific altercation that occurred and for attempting to promote non-violence," executive director Jennifer Rudinger said. "Unfortunately, her methods of addressing these issues will only further divide students based on race or ethnicity and exacerbate the problems in her school."

Rudinger said that by removing only blacks and Hispanics from class, Abron "unwittingly perpetuated the stereotype that students of color are 'problem students' who must be dealt with, while white students do not need to attend the assembly because white students are less likely to get into trouble."

Local reaction was mixed. Abron said she has received positive response from both parents and students about how she handled the situation.

"When kids exited, they were saying, 'Thank you, Mrs. Abron, thank you,'" she said. "That is a good thing to me."

Paul Architetto, a technology teacher, was at the assembly and said he thought Abron's actions were appropriate.

"I thought it was good, straight talk that needed to be said," he said.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • Not a fan of roses Feb 22, 2008

    Congrats to the principal and to those on this story that supported her and her decision.

  • mmania Feb 22, 2008


    You are not for justice if you think an apology is in order. She did exactly what she should have done. ADDRESS THE STUDENTS INVOLVED nothing more. Why does everyone expect an apology when they don't think as you do?

  • oldrebel Feb 22, 2008

    "...No one is asking that the principal be fired just an open apology is all that is needed." No, I don't think so. She has done nothing that merits an apology. If anyone should apologize it's the agitators that have turned this into a race baiting subject.

  • iamforjustice Feb 20, 2008

    No one is asking that the principal be fired just an open apology is all that is needed. No one said she was racist but her actions can easily be perceived as racist. If only she had not excluded a race of people. To say that white kids didn't need to be there because of what? Because they are innocent? All of the black and hispanic kids are guilty even though they too had no involvement?

  • iamforjustice Feb 20, 2008

    425 comments...wow

  • UpwardlyMobile Feb 19, 2008

    What a mess this has become... as usual.

  • Chaniya Feb 19, 2008

    illegals go home... I suppose this is not a forum for courter-attacks. But I must tell you that you know nothing about me, and there you go assuming.

    First, if my child were attacked by, let's say, a white girl; I honestly believe that it would do neither one of them any good for the principal to call an assembly of all white students and talk about being nice, that makes absolutely no sense. I would want something done -- starting with the bully's suspension!

    2nd, contrary to your 'assumption,' my husband and I were always, get that, ALWAYS at our children's school. For the good and for the bad. AND... I don't think they turned out so bad, both are college graduates, one with a masters and the other, undoubtedly, soon will follow. So, you see, we did train our kids right, got to know who their friends were, blah, blah, blah.

    .... that's all.

  • illegals--GO HOME Feb 19, 2008

    Chaniya.......get real. You and your likes are part of the problems in the world. You aren't the principal and don't get to make the decisions. If "your child" had been injured by one of these groups, you would have been the first one hollering about the principal not doing something.

    I support the principal, and parents need to get a grip and learn what it takes to get this kind of job done. Train your kids right at home and spend time learning who their friends are and what they are doing and teach them morals and values and most of all, respect for others.

  • Chaniya Feb 19, 2008

    I just don't understand some of you people, your thought process makes no sense whatsoever. On one hand you're whining about other folk making it a race issue and then on the other you're cheering on the principle for making only 2 races attend an assembly -- regardless of whether or not they had anything to do with the incident. She clearly made it a race issue when she called the assembly for the innocents as well as the guilty based on race.

    If it were my child who had nothing to do with the incident and she was called in, then the principal would absolutely have to deal with me. I would definitely make sure that my child knew that she was going to have to deal with me so that she would learn a lesson, that it's not right. When it's not right then you have an obligation to make those who are responsible held accountable.

    If the principal wanted to hold assembly, guilty/innocent/ or whatever, then everyone should have been made to attend.

    .....that's all.

  • Adelinthe Feb 19, 2008

    Wonder if the principal had announced this assembly beforehand, how many parents would've shown up to curtail violence.

    No answer needed - NONE!!!

    So right, wrong or otherwise - she probably made the best choice that was available to her.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB