RALEIGH, N.C. — 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.
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. A group of parents protested her move at Tuesday's Wake County Board of Education meeting.
The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina expressed concerns over the assemblies and issued a statement that it was looking into the reports.
Local reaction was mixed. Abron said she has received positive response from both parents and students about how she handled the situation.