New report finds racial discrimination in hiring process within Taylor County school district

A new report claims there is racial discrimination within the hiring process at Taylor County schools.
Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 7:12 PM EDT
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PERRY, Fla. (WCTV) - A new report claims there is racial discrimination within the hiring process at Taylor County schools.

The findings come after a committee was set to look into a racial discrimination complaint made by a job applicant.

A woman in Taylor County filed the complaint against the school district alleging racial bias after she was denied a job.

The committee found she did not face racial discrimination but outlined what it calls “systemic racial issues” within the district.

In the discrimination complaint report, obtained by WCTV and seen above, the committee members detail troubling irregularities in the hiring process in the Taylor County school district, specifically when it comes to minority applicants.

“There were troubling and astonishing irregularities in the hiring processes and in the procedures of the school district that eliminate minorities from potential positions, potential hiring’s, potential promotions, and even within the guidelines or the process of developing procedures,” said committee member, Douglas Wallace.

Wallace tells WCTV he decided to speak out on the issue so it would not be swept under the rug.

In the 11-page document one of the findings was that there is an “acceptance of the lack of diversity within the system.”

“I believe it’s through the procedures and the way they conduct business that now through the system approach minorities are underrepresented. As an example out of 400 employees you only have one minority teacher in a classroom,” said Wallace.

The woman who filed the initial complaint says although the committee did not find evidence to support her claim of racial bias, she is glad that it shined a light on an important issue.

“I do feel a bit overwhelmed, I did not think that it would get this attention, however, I am glad that it did. It is something that everybody kind of talks about but nobody ever steps out and tries to get something done about it,” said Oriel Blalock.

Wallace says he hopes the school district will take action.

“There needs to be a higher level of accountability within the school district and there needs to be more transparency, they need to be open and honest with the community and if they are having issues, talk with the community,” said Wallace.

WCTV has reached out to the Taylor County school district superintendent for comment, however he has not responded.

Through their lawyer, the school board says the release of the report to the public is premature and the board will comment after it’s reviewed by the superintendent.

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