GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The Alabama NAACP gave parents and others a space to speak about allegations of racial discrimination in the Guntersville City School District (GCSD) on Tuesday night.
Representatives from the Alabama NAACP, Southern Poverty Law Center and city officials attended the meeting – listening intently to those who share stories of unfair treatment in the school system.
Guntersville District 1 Councilman Sanchez Williams says he heard these stories from several parents before this meeting and says something needs to be done.
“These children are not lying. They don’t invent anything. There are too many witnesses and too many stories being told and they all add up. I am with you on this point. It’s time. We need to stick together on this. We have to do something about it…plain and simple,” Williams said.
One by one, parents took to the podium and shared their concerns and experiences of unfair treatment in the school system. Current and former students do the same.
Collectively, they all say they believe there is a lack of response from administrators. They also believe that no disciplinary action is taken against teachers who verbally and physically abuse their children.
They demand accountability.
Alabama NAACP President Benard Simelton said they will work to compile all of the grievances and concerns heard tonight, and present them to the superintendent and the school board.
GCS Superintendent Jason Barnett sent News 19 the following statement regarding the town hall meeting:
“In the last few days I learned of the upcoming town hall meeting of the NAACP. We always appreciate the opportunity to hear and engage with members of our community. In a previous meeting I had with Mr. Simelton, President of the Alabama NAACP, I found our conversation quite productive, and I recently called to express my willingness to communicate with him regarding the public meeting. where I can learn more about the various concerns that have been raised and how we can all work together to support our students.
The NAACP is also working with the SPLC and ACLU to strategize on what can be done and how they can work to ensure equity in the school system.
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