Florida School Apologizes After Black Children Called A “Problem” Group, Sent To Segregated Assembly On Low Test Scores



A Florida school district has apologized for singling out Black students about low test scores in an assembly.

Flagler County officials said that staff at Bunnell Elementary took Black fourth and fifth graders away from their regular activities last Friday to attend a PowerPoint presentation on low standardized test scores, the Associated Press reports. The presentation, reportedly led by two Black teachers, highlighted that Black students generally underperformed on standardized examinations for the past three years and called them a “problem” group.

However, the assembly did not take into account which of the Black students actually passed their tests, and merely rounded up the nine and ten-year-olds based on their race, the Guardian reports.

School Board Chair Cheryl Massaro and Interim Superintendent LaShakia Moore both said that there were “no excuses” for what happened at the school, which furious parents said included their children being told that if they didn’t perform well in school and go to college, they could end up in jail, shot or killed.

“You segregated them, and then you beat them down by telling them, ‘If your scores are not up to par, you’re going to end up in jail, shot dead, or on the side of the road,’” parent Jacinda Arrington told local news station WJXT.

“These are people that we trust with our children seven to eight hours a day, and you bullied them,” Arrington added.

Flagler County officials said that the assembly at Bunnell Elementary School was a “horrible, horrific mistake” that shouldn’t have occurred.

“The Flagler School Board does not support segregation,” said Massaro, per the Associated Press.

During a news conference last week addressing the issue, Moore said Bunnell Elementary Principal Donelle Evensen and a teacher involved in the assembly have been put on administrative leave while the school district investigates.

“My appeal is to our families and to this community that we continue to work together in order to help each other and improve the academic performance of all of our students here in Flagler County,” Moore said. “We make no excuses for what happened. We offer our apology, and we offer actionable actions.”


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