Muscogee County School Board debates zero-tolerance on racial sl - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Muscogee County School Board debates zero-tolerance on racial slurs

(Source: Jose Zozaya/WTVM) (Source: Jose Zozaya/WTVM)
(Source: Jose Zozaya/WTVM) (Source: Jose Zozaya/WTVM)
(Source: Jose Zozaya/WTVM) (Source: Jose Zozaya/WTVM)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  It's an ongoing debate over comments a former teacher in Columbus made to two students at Reese Road Elementary School.

The teacher admitted to using a racial slur in front of at least two young African-American girls. Monday night, the Muscogee County School Board again discussed a 'zero tolerance' policy for that kind of language.

Board member John Thomas, who submitted his proposal to prohibit "communication of racial slurs, either verbal or written, by all district employees," added one sentence to his original document. The intent, he said, was to make sure the board defined what "zero tolerance" means.

"While it’s true we have several other policies on the books that have the language 'zero tolerance,'" Thomas said, “they are not specific about the use of racial slurs, for one thing.”

The addition, in short, states if, after a review and thorough investigation, a teacher is found to have said a racial slur, that employee is subject to termination.

Before Monday's meeting, Thomas met with fellow board member Kia Chambers, who heads the policy committee, as well as human resources officers and school district attorneys to hash out a compromise.

"We were on opposite ends as far as far as the policy is concerned," Chambers said, "but there is a proposal that I believe is a happy medium."

Chambers said Thomas' amended proposal does not remove employee's due process rights, while also allowing the human resource department to review any policies before deciding on the employee's status.

"It also sends the message clearly," Chambers said, "that racial slurs have no place in the classroom."

This controversy was still on the minds of many community members at the meeting.

At one point, a local community activist was escorted out from the meeting for her comments about the employee at the center of the controversy.

This, despite board-chair Patricia Hugley-Green having warned the audience about a board policy to not entertain a discussion about any particular district employee or case.

The activist then directed her outburst to school district superintendent David Lewis, calling for his resignation over how he's handled this and several investigations.

During the meeting, Chambers asked that all board members review existing policies with school district attorneys to decide which ones will be abolished and which ones may be amended to accommodate Thomas' proposal.

"I think there may be some board members who have concerns that we do have policies on the books already that address the situation, Thomas said. "I don't believe that and that's why I proposed this policy. So, we'll see how it turns out."

The board now has 30 days to vote on this proposal.

Copyright 2017 WTVM. All rights reserved. | For more news, download the WTVM app here.

  • LocalMore>>

  • Firefighters battle house fire in Seale, AL

    Firefighters battle house fire in Seale, AL

    Monday, August 20 2018 6:10 AM EDT2018-08-20 10:10:32 GMT

    News Leader 9 is on the scene of a house fire in Russell County this evening. Salem fire crews are working to control a house fully involved on 18 E-And-W Drive in Seale. That's just off of Uchee Hill Hwy. No word on any injuries or if anyone was inside the home when the fire started.  This is an active scene, we will continue to bring you the latest developments. 

    More >>

    News Leader 9 is on the scene of a house fire in Russell County this evening. Salem fire crews are working to control a house fully involved on 18 E-And-W Drive in Seale. That's just off of Uchee Hill Hwy. No word on any injuries or if anyone was inside the home when the fire started.  This is an active scene, we will continue to bring you the latest developments. 

    More >>
  • Top Stories on 9: Week in Review

    Top Stories on 9: Week in Review

    Sunday, August 19 2018 9:48 PM EDT2018-08-20 01:48:14 GMT
    Construction on Veterans Parkway that began in 2014 is expected to be completed on Aug. 31.Construction on Veterans Parkway that began in 2014 is expected to be completed on Aug. 31.
    Construction on Veterans Parkway that began in 2014 is expected to be completed on Aug. 31.Construction on Veterans Parkway that began in 2014 is expected to be completed on Aug. 31.

    If you missed the top stories this week, do not worry News Leader 9 has you covered. This past week Harris County has had to say goodbye to a close faculty member, more crime-stopping in local areas and even some national. Here is a quick look at some of the top stories from this week:

    More >>

    If you missed the top stories this week, do not worry News Leader 9 has you covered. This past week Harris County has had to say goodbye to a close faculty member, more crime-stopping in local areas and even some national. Here is a quick look at some of the top stories from this week:

    More >>
  • Sen. Doug Jones made a stop in AL and shares thoughts on economy

    Sen. Doug Jones made a stop in AL and shares thoughts on economy

    Sunday, August 19 2018 7:28 PM EDT2018-08-19 23:28:04 GMT
    Senator Doug Jones traveling across the state, making a recent stop in Opelika to support democrat Brian McGee who's running for House District 38. (Source: WTVM)Senator Doug Jones traveling across the state, making a recent stop in Opelika to support democrat Brian McGee who's running for House District 38. (Source: WTVM)
    Senator Doug Jones traveling across the state, making a recent stop in Opelika to support democrat Brian McGee who's running for House District 38. (Source: WTVM)Senator Doug Jones traveling across the state, making a recent stop in Opelika to support democrat Brian McGee who's running for House District 38. (Source: WTVM)

    Traveling across the state, U.S. Senator Doug Jones made a recent stop to support democrat Brian McGee, who's running for House District 38. In his first visit back to East Alabama since winning December's special election,

    More >>

    Traveling across the state, U.S. Senator Doug Jones made a recent stop to support democrat Brian McGee, who's running for House District 38. In his first visit back to East Alabama since winning December's special election,

    More >>
Powered by Frankly