SCLC Challenges VCS' Commitment To Desegregation

By: Greg Gullberg Email
By: Greg Gullberg Email

- Valdosta, Ga. - March 12, 2012 -

The U.S. Department of Justice is pushing the Valdosta City School System to comply with a 40-year-old desegregation order.

The Superintendent says they are working frantically to do so. But the Southern Christian Leadership Conference questions its vigor if it's taken 40 years already.

To fix the 40-year-old lawsuit Valdosta City Schools is working to replace more black teachers with white until they fall into a certain ratio. But the SCLC says the consent order has simply been ignored until now.

Dr. Mark George is Chairman of Valdosta's Chapter of the SCLC.
He tells Eyewitness News reporter Greg Gullberg that the school system has violated its own hiring policies and proven to be willfully non-compliant with the consent order.

"And so that was one of the problems that slowed this process down is that it's clear that Dr. Cason and Ms. Mason weren't doing what they were supposed to do by posting positions when they came open so everybody in the system as well as people outside of the system could apply for them. So to omit that fact and simply say it takes the Department of Justice a long time to respond is a little inaccurate to say the least," said Dr. Mark George.

But in a recent interview, Valdosta City Schools Superintendent Dr. Bill Cason told Gullberg desegregation is a top priority.

"We've worked diligently over the past few years to make sure we get out from under this court order because it is a burden for the teachers," said Dr. Cason

Dr. Cason says the order had fallen by the wayside for years but now it's almost fixed. He says there is only one school that's still out of ratio: J.L. Newburn Middle School. He plans to have it done by next school year.

The Department of Justice is not ordering black teachers to be fired.
They're working to move teachers around to different schools and fill new openings with the proper race until the appropriate ratio is met.

The Justice Department requires the ratio of white and black teachers at every school to fall within 20% of each other.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

- Valdosta, Ga. - Feb. 29, 2012 -

The Valdosta City School System is working frantically to replace more black teachers with white.

It's a federal order from the Department of Justice in a 40 year old lawsuit. The consent order demands VCS to replace more black teachers with white teachers to even out the ratio and correct a racial disparity.

Superintendent Dr. Bill Cason tells Eyewitness News reporter Greg Gullberg that it's easier said than done.

"We've worked diligently over the past few years to make sure we get out from under this court order because it is a burden for the teachers," Cason said.

The Justice Department is enforcing a 40 year old lawsuit to protect racial equality of school teachers. VCS is making progress, they used to have several schools in violation, but today only one middle school is out of ratio.

At J.L. Newbern Middle School five black teachers still have to be replaced with white to meet racial requirements.

Human Resources Director Sheila Mason explains how they are working to correct that.

"We'll continue what we're doing. We're in a panel interview process at our central office and we interview here on a panel and our applicants are sent to the school where they are best fitted," Mason tells Gullberg.

But some parents like Mara Wildes say the race of their child's teacher doesn't make a difference.

"I don't care if my kid's teachers are black or white. I just want them to have a good education," Wildes tells Gullberg.

The school system was first ordered to desegregate in a federal lawsuit dating back to 1971. It stems from enforcement of the Equal Protection Clause and Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Ever since, VCS has been working to get out of violation of that order with varying degrees of zealousness. But in the past few years Dr. Cason has made it a high priority. He says it will be over soon.

"We can certainly do that this up coming school term," Dr. Cason tells Gullberg.

The DOJ is adamant that racial disparity in the classroom only hurts the kids. But the irony is usually when you hear about this problem it's in reverse and there aren't enough black teachers to go around.

The Justice Department requires the ratio of white and black teachers to fall within 20 percent of each other.


You must be logged in to post comments.

Username:
Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by dog Location: gone on Mar 13, 2012 at 06:33 AM
    Are the BLACK Schools going to do this? How about it FAMU ? Whites are soon going to be the NEW Minority.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 7, 2012 at 08:14 PM
    This is wrong on so many levels. You hire qualified people to fill a job. If someone lives across town this makes it harder for them to balance family and work. The funds expended on this court case should have been spent in the classroom, lowering classroom size and paying better salaries to teachers. Bet the judge went to a "private school" where racial balance was not an issue. Another mess in the name of political correctness paid for by taxpayers.
  • by To GV on Mar 2, 2012 at 06:11 AM
    You are dumb!
  • by Jones Location: Perry on Mar 2, 2012 at 04:26 AM
    This is so wrong. But, if there is a silver lining to this cloud, it's that now black folk might get a feeling for how unfair hiring quotas really are.
  • by anon Location: fl. on Mar 2, 2012 at 02:33 AM
    hire mixed race teachers most kids these days are mixed race or mixed up about race
  • by this is stupid on Mar 1, 2012 at 05:32 PM
    What happened to hiring the most qualified?
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 2, 2012 at 04:08 AM in reply to this is stupid
      That is what this corrects....too many unqualified hired
    • reply
      by GV on Mar 2, 2012 at 05:06 AM in reply to this is stupid
      They weren't hired by qualification to begin with.They were hired by the color of their skin to begin with.This is going to fix that.
      • reply
        by MMA on Mar 2, 2012 at 06:10 AM in reply to GV
        Not the case always. you don't know what the deal is so you can't speak on it. You are just too slow to know that.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 1, 2012 at 04:59 PM
    I am somewhat stymied by the fact that in a city with a University which houses a Doctoral program in Education cannot find qualified teachers to fill positions. Given a large pool of qualified people to choose from, and given the fact that this disparity was known why has the school system taken 20 years to address known violations? The other, and more important question is; did anyone in all of this remember the words of a fellow Georgian about, "not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their hearts..."?
    • reply
      by GV on Mar 2, 2012 at 05:07 AM in reply to
      They were hired by the color of their skin to begin with.Why is it ok to hire blacks just because they are black?
  • by not fair Location: ga on Mar 1, 2012 at 03:15 PM
    thats not right at all it should not matter of the color if there qualified for the job the race should not make a difference im white and we are no different then blacks
    • reply
      by Linda on Mar 1, 2012 at 06:32 PM in reply to not fair
      punctuation was created to make words make sense. Try it sometime.
      • reply
        by petpeeves on Mar 2, 2012 at 12:24 PM in reply to Linda
        =)
      • reply
        by gop on Mar 4, 2012 at 12:54 PM in reply to Linda
        You do not begin a sentance with punctuation maybe you are one of the teachers being replaced
        • reply
          by GV on Mar 13, 2012 at 04:59 AM in reply to gop
          Looks like you were one that was taught English by one of these teachers because you can't spell,either.
    • reply
      by Yeah we are different. on Mar 2, 2012 at 12:07 PM in reply to not fair
      It amazes me that so many brainwashed whites spew that same line about we are all the same and the flip side of that coin you see blacks doing everything they can to get so many black special appropriations, black teachers for black kids because they say there is a cultural difference. When an educated white man claims there is a cultural difference and recommends a charter school for just white kids!! you can bet the race card will fall.
    • reply
      by Pet Peeves on Mar 2, 2012 at 12:31 PM in reply to not fair
      I believe you meant to type thr following message: That's not right at all. It should not matter of the color if they're qualified for the job. The race should not make a difference. I'm white and we are no different than blacks. Sorry, "not fair", it looks like you did not benefit from your white nor black teachers.
  • by Times 2 on Mar 1, 2012 at 02:53 PM
    How about just hiring the best teachers and quit focusing on race. My childs future depend on them getting the best education not the best diversity training.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 2, 2012 at 04:08 AM in reply to Times 2
      that is what this corrects
  • by Guy Location: Here on Mar 1, 2012 at 12:47 PM
    Here's a crazy idea: take race and gender off of applications, review the applications and set up job interviews with the top 2. I find it ridiculous that "racial disparity" and "diversity" are actually factors in being qualified for a job. Believe it or not, there are a few us out there that started from the bottom and worked up the social ladder. Entitlement is killing this country.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 2, 2012 at 04:09 AM in reply to Guy
      how about iq tests....you cant spell write or do math you dont get teacher job
WCTV 1801 Halstead Blvd. Tallahassee, FL 32309
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 140953323 - wctv.tv/a?a=140953323
Gray Television, Inc.