Friday, August 27, 2010

Nettleton Middle School Declares President Obama Is White

I ran across this story on Gawker last night, reporting that at Nettleton Middle School in northeast Missisippi, class officer elections are segregated by race! (The story was first broken by on August 25, see here, then picked up yesterday by Gawker and The Smoking Gun. For a local report radio report by by also dated Aug 26, see here.)

UPDATED 12:44pm PDT: School district has reversed the student election policy, scroll down to bottom for updated info.

Here's the real flyer they distributed to students:


Brandy and Dondi Springer, who recently moved to the area, found out about the policy when their daughter got excited about running for class "reporter" but found out that that position was set aside for black students. The daughter was encouraged to run for president, however, since that is a whites-only job. In fact, all the president positions are set-asides for whites. (Ya see -- we already have a black president, Obama! Get it? Har har har. You know someone had to have been making that joke down there in Nettleton.)

Brandy couldn't believe what her daughter was told was true, but she found out it was, as the flyer proves.

Brandy is Italian and Dondi is African-American. Her oldest daughter is white, and her youngest two kids are biracial. When she asked what category they would fall in, she was told, to "go by the mother’s race b/c with minorities the father isn’t generally in the home.”

W.T.F.1!?!?!!?!!?!?!!? (However, this helpful rule proves that President Obama is not the first black president. But now he's eligible to run for 6th grade president again!! YAAY!!!)

Apparently, Brandy was also told that "a city court order is the reason why it is this way." This surprises me because the US Departments of Justice and Education have made clear that segregating class positions like this is illegal. As stated in 2004:
As a new school year begins, we write to advise you of a recurrent issue that we have encountered involving extra-curricular activities: the allocating of awards or honors on the basis of race. We have found, for example, that some school districts have racially separate Homecoming Queens and Kings, Most Popular Student, Most Friendly, as well as other superlatives. We have also found that school districts have assisted in facilitating racially-separate proms. Indeed, our attorneys have been made aware of several examples of these types of activities as recently as last year.

These practices are inconsistent with federal law. The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and the Department of Education will act promptly to remedy such violations where they occur, through litigation if necessary.
So, the school district has put out a release saying they are examining their policies, which is a very good sign, under the hastily added link for "media satements" (sic), see here:
"Student elections have not yet been held at Nettleton Middle School for the 2010-2011 school term. The processes and procedures for student elections are under review. We are reviewing the origin of these processes, historical applications, compliance issues, as well as current implications and ramifications. A statement will be released when review of these processes is complete."
So its a good thing that the school district is "examining" policies that violate U.S. law, I suppose. I really wonder how long this has been going on. (Nettleton, by the way, is not too far south of Fulton, home of Itawamba Agricultural High School, which just this year barred lesbian student Constance McMillen from attending its prom with a same-sex date, and then created a fake prom to shuttle her off to, resulting in major legal problems for the district.)

The school district's handbook has come off their website. But here is page 52, however, which provides for separate black and white homecoming queens!

RACIAL PURITY!!!wheeee11!!

W.T.F.!!@#?!??!?!??!??! Its always intriguing to find blatant violations of law in your kid's student handbook. Makes you wonder what else is being taught.


Other commentary on this controversy:
  • Blacks Clearly Unfit to Be President, (Aug. 26, 2010), "It’s interesting that school principal Van Ross (pictured) is African-American."
  • nettleton 0, facebook 1, (Aug. 27), "there were several jarring aspects to the paper not the least of which is the erroneous expectation that a child is either black or white."

ETA 10:33 am PDT: MSNBC has the story with an interview of Mrs. Springer, also posting the homecoming policy!

ETA 10:38am PDT. Brandi Springer reports on facebook: "Brandy Springer MSNBC just sent me an email the school board is having an emergency board meeting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! RIGHT NOW about a minute ago"

ETA 12:44 pm PDT: The school district has eliminated the policy, which reportedly stood for at least 30 years, see here.

Here is the press release:

Media Statement
After being notified of a grievance regarding upcoming student elections at Nettleton Middle School, research was conducted that evidenced that the current practices and procedures for student elections have existed for over 30 years. It is the belief of the current administration that these procedures were implemented to help ensure minority representation and involvement in the student body. It is felt the intent of these election procedures was to ensure African-American representation in each student office category through an annual rotation basis.

It is our hope and desire that these practices and procedures are no longer needed to help ensure minority representation and involvement. Furthermore, the Nettleton School District acknowledges and embraces the fact that we are growing in ethnic diversity and that the classifications of Caucasian and African-American no longer reflect our entire student body.

Therefore, beginning immediately, student elections at Nettleton School District will no longer have a classification of ethnicity. It is our intent that each student has equal opportunity to seek election for any student office. Future student elections will be monitored to help ensure that this change in process and procedure does not adversely affect minority representation in student elections.

Thank you


Russell Taylor

I could have bet they would have said this. What about the homecoming court, though?

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