Want to be class president? Not if you're black, in one Miss. school

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Want to be class president? Not if you're black, in one Miss. school

Post by damkira on Fri Aug 27, 2010 1:23 pm

If you’re black and a student at one public middle school in Mississippi, you can’t run for president – only whites need apply.

Nettleton Middle School in Nettleton, Miss., has segregated its elected class positions by race, according to a memo sent home with children at the school last week that was obtained by NBC News.

The memo was first brought to light when Brandy Springer, a mother of four children, contacted blogger Suzy Richardson, founder and editor of the blog mixedandhappy.com. It was also reported by Gawker.

“My [eighth-grade] daughter came home from[Nettleton] school telling me that she wanted to try out for the school reporter, but it is only open to black students,” Springer wrote Richardson. “They told her ‘she should run for class president, that was open to only white students.'”

The memo indicates that only white students can be president of the school’s eighth grade, while only black students can be vice president.

In seventh grade, whites are the only ones who can be both president and vice president, while the only position a black student at Nettleton can apply for in sixth grade is that of the class reporter.

Springer told msnbc.com on Friday she was "shocked" when she first saw the memo, and has since moved her family out of Nettleton -- a small town of around 2,000 that Springer said is itself geographically segregated on racial lines -- to nearby Plantersville, Miss.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, close to 67 percent of Nettleton's population is white and 32.5 percent is black. In 2000, only 0.3 of the town's residents identified themselves as being of mixed race.

According to an excerpt from the school's handbook, homecoming positions are also divided by race – black and white, with no mention of other races.

Read excerpt from the handbook

“I have always taught my children not to see race,” Springer told Richardson. “This is so disgusting to me.”

Separately, Springer told msnbc.com she spoke with the superintendent of the Nettleton school district on Thursday. She said he agreed the policy was outdated and that he was willing to review the policy.

The school issued a media statement on its website, but would not comment on any specific details about the memo or excerpts from the handbook.

“The processes and procedures for student elections are under review,” Superintendent Russell Taylor said in the statement. “We are reviewing the origin of these processes, historical applications, compliance issues, as well as current implications and ramifications.”

School officials said another statement will be released later Friday. The school had no further comment on the memo when contacted by msnbc.com.

Talk around town: 'That's just the way it is'
"Even if they changed this policy, there's the fact that officials at this school have this attitude that they have let it go all this time, which means that apparently they have thought it was OK," Springer said. "I can't let my children be in a school district like that."

Springer moved to Nettleton from Florida with her husband, who is black, and her four children, two of whom are Native American and white and two of whom are black and white.

She said said her youngest daughter was called a derogatory name when the family first moved to the town and that Springer and her husband have been on the receiving end of racially charged comments, but that those incidents had been relatively isolated.

So far, Springer said the sense in the town is to let sleeping dogs lie.

"The talk around the town is that this is the way it is, that's just the way it is and nobody knows any better, nobody wants any better and that's why nobody's challenged it," Springer said.

Springer said she will continue to campaign to change policies in Nettleton from her new home in Plantersville.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38880820/ns/us_news-life



Nice to know Mississippi is trying so hard to retain its title as the most backward state in the US...
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Re: Want to be class president? Not if you're black, in one Miss. school

Post by KingFate on Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:22 pm

Wow.....I really don't know what to say. That's just disgusting and I hope the people in charge have some form of punishment.
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Re: Want to be class president? Not if you're black, in one Miss. school

Post by Mako on Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:26 pm

Wow. That is pretty messed up in this day and age. O_o

Kids growing up today will never even think of race as an issue and now a school does this. I am a little shocked to tell you the truth.
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Re: Want to be class president? Not if you're black, in one Miss. school

Post by c03n3nj0 on Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:55 am

I would never live in a town like that.
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Re: Want to be class president? Not if you're black, in one Miss. school

Post by koyotecat on Sat Aug 28, 2010 11:24 am

That is one of the more stupid things I've heard in a really long time.

I would transfer to a different school.
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Re: Want to be class president? Not if you're black, in one Miss. school

Post by dsister on Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:44 pm

Shouldn't the title read "Want to be a class reporter? Not if your white, in one Miss. school". Because that seems to be more the case.

On topic: This really needs to be fixed(the problem not the thread title Razz)
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Re: Want to be class president? Not if you're black, in one Miss. school

Post by Kenzomatic on Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:19 pm

It is amazing how far back in time one can go when traveling through Mississippi or Alabama.

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Re: Want to be class president? Not if you're black, in one Miss. school

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