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ACLU files complaint over racially divided school assemblies

Posted May 29, 2008

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— The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina filed a complaint Thursday with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights on behalf of two parents of black students at Dillard Drive Middle School.

The complaint stems from a situation last December when Principal Teresa Abron held separate assemblies for black and Hispanic students after a fight at her school.

“Parents have done everything they can to work with the school system, and have received very little in return,” said Rebecca Headen, ACLU-NC racial justice project coordinator. “They are not asking for much – just an acknowledgment that the decision to target their children for discipline based on race and ethnicity was made in error and assurance that it won’t happen again.”

In February, a Wake County citizens group announced that it supported the principal.

In a news release, the Coalition of Concerned Citizens for African-American Children said 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.

Concerned parents and community members contacted the Raleigh office of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, and the ACLU-NC for assistance, ACLU officials said. 

Parents then requested a meeting with Abron, which was refused by Area Superintendent Julye Mizelle, ACLU officials said.

After parents held a public protest outside Wake County Public School System headquarters, they were told they could choose two parents to meet privately with school board members and the superintendent.

"No solution was reached at that meeting," according to the ACLU's news release.


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  • Dr. Dataclerk May 30, 2008

    IMHO05: You made a very valid good comment. But you know what- these are the parents that cannot wait to have children - but after they arrive - they dote on them for awhile. After that, the parents don't want the responsibility of taking care or being their for the child. They still wants to do their "thing". In other words the parents have not grown up yet. Today children are really raising themselves as well as their parents. WHERE ARE THE PARENTS?

  • IMHO05 May 30, 2008

    Bottom line is if parents would take the time to be involved in their children's lives and schools these incidents would be much lower. One of the most inconceivable things I have heard this year from some teachers is that they had not met or even spoken to some of their student's parents. The parents don't respond for requests for conferences. Teachers are flexible, if you TRULY cannot make it in for a conference, they will do a telephone conference. I am so tired of the parents of these children making excuses for everyone but themselves. You had these children, they are YOUR responsibility no one elses! Yes, the state is supposed to provide them an education, but if they have never been taught basic courtesy and responsibility, then it is quiet difficult.

  • TheAdmiral May 30, 2008

    Here's an ACLU offering everyone should love.

    The ACLU in the city of Dover, New Hampshire filed suit last week over an ordinance that prohibits where convicted sex offenders can live - namely keeping them from day care centers and elementary schools.

    In response, The American Civil Rights Union highlights the foolish reply of the ACLU. By trying to make this an issue of states rights versus federal rights, they are ignoring the root issue - that the law is aimed at keeping sex offenders away from children.

    By drawing attention to the ordinance, the New Hampshire ACLU chapter is attempting to move this issue up in the courts, removing local authority and including wasteful and unnecessary law suits.

    While similar ordinances have been enacted in other cities, and even with compliance from many convicted sex offenders who have moved without objection when the ordinance was put into place, the ACLU will not back down.

    Unnecessary law suits such as this one are not only wasteful in th

  • TheAdmiral May 30, 2008

    "True Democracy does not mean the tyranny of the Majority."

    No, but it does mean that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Or the one.

  • TheAdmiral May 30, 2008

    "Maybe the issue should have been resolve by the students instead of the parents"

    The issue should have been resolved on the playground - then when the parents were called in they were taken to the magistrate for aiding and abetting to the delinquency of minors by not being parents.

  • TheAdmiral May 30, 2008

    "In defending the rights of minorities they are bound to upset the majority much of the time."

    Since when does the AC LIBERTIES Union represent any rights of any citizen? It has never done so - it only sues to allow racism and perversion to be commonplace in society.

    If you want a herd of laywers to defend the rights of others - then you should look into the ACRU - that's right - the AMERICAN CIVIL RIGHTS UNION.

    The ACLU has told several thousand Mexicans to invade cities to force change, told private groups to accept the preachings of pedophiles as the rule, want to keep good kids in bad schools, wants to continue the unethical "Vote - and vote often" stance, and much more.


    Is a source to help you pull your head out of your keister.

  • haggis basher May 30, 2008

    "If they ever picked a fight for a worthwhile cause instead of all the left wing causes this would be a better country. They need to really think about what they are defending."

    Like what? In defending the rights of minorities they are bound to upset the majority much of the time. If you can't grasp that its just plain wrong to sort kids out by race then it shows that they have a lot more work to do. True Democracy does not mean the tyranny of the Majority. (BTW there is no Communist conspiracy anymore if there ever was, even the Chinese, Cubans and Russians have worked out that it doesn't work......)

  • haggis basher May 30, 2008

    "No new unrest reported by our children"
    Strange, thats not what my kid tells me.......

  • Dr. Dataclerk May 30, 2008

    Eduardo1: I do not know what dr.dataclerk is a doctor of, probably gastro, since he appears to blow so much gas.

    Your comment shows how demeaning of a person you can be. Comment was not appreciated and it shows all of us the kind of person you are.

  • Dr. Dataclerk May 30, 2008

    Eduardo1: Seem like you have a problem of jealousy with me. Now, what is your problem. I stand my ground, the principal went about thingS the WRONG WAY.