Individuals at Wilcox County High School and the Georgia Department of Education are working together to remove the only African-American teacher at the high school. If they are successful, the school will not have a minority teaching in a core subject. The school has made the decision not to extend a contract for next year to the only other minority teacher teaching a core academic subject at the school. Historically, a dismal number of African-American teachers have been hired by the Wilcox County Board of Education. Wilcox County High School is located in Rochelle, Georgia, which is approximately 70 miles south of Macon, Georgia.
Wilcox County High School is such a low performing academic school that it qualified for a School Improvement Grant (SIG). Visit the following address for more information about a School Improvement Grant (SIG): http://www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/index.html. The Black male teacher was hired by the Wilcox County Board of Education through a School Improvement Grant to teach in the Wilcox Academy for Varied Education (WAVE). WAVE is a performance learning center and a “school within a school” serving to increase the academic achievement of high school students who are not on grade level and who have been identified as needing to benefit from the advantages of a performance learning center.
Unfortunately, the Black male teacher was not provided with any instruction about meeting the expectations of the School Improvement Grant and how to meet the expectations of a standards-based classroom. Although the Black male teacher has served as a college instructor at two prestigious research universities, this is his first year of teaching at the K -12 level.
Through the School Improvement Grant, Wilcox County High School was able to hire an English Instructional Coach and Math Instructional Coach. The following is a list of some of the primary duties of Instructional Coaches: providing teachers with model lessons, co-teaching, working one-on-one with students to offer instructional support, and providing teachers with essential resources. Unfortunately, Louise Daffin, Wilcox County High School English Instructional Coach, has not done a single model lesson, has not done any co-teaching, and has only provided approximately a month of one-on-one assistance with students in the classroom, which was during the 1st 9 Weeks grading period, while at Wilcox County High School. She has not been in the Black male teacher’s classroom helping to facilitate instruction and working one-on-one with students since the 1st 9 Weeks grading period. Louise Daffin is a White woman.
Chad Davis, Wilcox County High School Principal, was informed by the African-American male teacher that Louise Daffin was not providing model lessons, was not co-teaching, and was not working one-on-one with students in his classroom. Chad Davis is a White man. Each time the Black male teacher would report that Louise Daffin was not in his room providing him with the assistance she is supposed to offer to him Chad Davis would say, “I know. They are going to be coming in doing model lessons.” He has stated this repeatedly. Unfortunately, only several weeks of school remain and she has not been made by Chad Davis to come in and do anything in his classroom.
The two new White female teachers in the WAVE who were hired at the same as the Black male teacher have been provided with serious instructional support. Chad Davis made it available for a veteran teacher to get her schedule changed so that she can come in one of the new White female teachers’ classroom each day. The new White female Math instructor was provided with serious support and resources by the Math Instructional Coach. Ostensibly, the fact that the Black male teacher is Black did not qualify him to receive any type of instructional support that comes anywhere close to the instructional support the two new White teachers have received.
The Black male teacher was informed by Chad Davis that “SIG has defunded” him for the next academic year, even though Chad Davis has recommended to the Superintendent that the Black male teacher be hired back for the next academic year. The Black male teacher requested that he receive the reasons why he was being “defunded by SIG,” and Chad Davis said that he did not know and that the Black male teacher would have to ask Dr. Darrel May, a White man who serves as the School Improvement Specialist and works for the Georgia Department of Education. The Black male teacher’s request to receive the reasons why he has been “defunded by SIG” was granted by Chad Davis. Chad Davis arranged a meeting between the Black male teacher and Dr. Darrel May.
During the meeting, Dr. Darrel May explained the reasons for the recommendation he made to his supervisor, Bari Geeslin, a White woman who works for the Georgia Department of Education and the person who primarily oversees the SIG Grant, why the Black male teacher should be defunded. Dr. May stated based on private conferences with Louise Daffin, based on observations, the level of instruction, the fact that the Black male teacher was “argumentative during feedback,” and the fact that the Black male teacher was the only teacher in the whole school who did not follow the recommendations of veteran teachers after observations.
Dr. Darrel May has never had a single conference with the Black male teacher after conducting observations in his classroom. He walks by the Black male teacher each day and does not even speak to him. He has only sent the Black male teacher an email about what he observed in his classroom, but did not meet with the Black male teacher to discuss the observation. Chad Davis told the Black male teacher that he receives a report from Dr. May each time he observes his classroom and that he would get those observations to him. Unfortunately, Chad Davis did not send those observation reports to the Black male teacher until after the recommendation to defund him was made. There were only two observations that Chad Davis sent him via email and Chad Davis stated that was all he had concerning observations conducted by Dr. May in the Black male teacher’s classroom.
Because the Black male teacher voiced his disagreement on various issues, especially on the teaching of persuasive writing, Dr. Darrel May and Bari Geeslin thought that this Black male teacher was out of his place by disagreeing with anything they were saying. They simply wanted him to be a rubber stamp and not exercise his right of free expression/speech. When a Black man voices his opinion, it can often be perceived by a White person as not an opinion but an act of defiance. For this to still be the case in the 21st century is quite ridiculous.
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If you support this Black male teacher and believe that he has been discriminated against and his right to free expression/speech has been violated, and that he should not be defunded by SIG, then email the following people and express your support for the Black male teacher at Wilcox County High School: Chad Davis, Principal of Wilcox County High School at email@example.com, Steve Smith, School Superintendent at firstname.lastname@example.org, Louise Daffin, English Instructional Coach at email@example.com, Dr. Darrel May, School Improvement Specialist and Georgia Department of Education employee at firstname.lastname@example.org, and Bari Geeslin, SIG supervisor for Wilcox County High School and Georgia Department of Education employee at email@example.com.
If you are near Rochelle, Georgia, come to Wilcox County High School and voice your support for the Black male teacher in person to Chad Davis. Let’s not allow this serious injustice to go unpunished and unexposed!
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Last night, University of Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long made a decision to place University of Arkansas Head Football Coach Bobby Petrino on paid administrative leave. At a time when the Razorback football program is flourishing, Jeff Long could make a decision to fire Coach Petrino. Although all of the details about Coach Petrino’s motorcycle accident and issues surrounding that motorcycle accident have not completely been revealed, one thing all Razorback fans know is how valuable he is to our football program. Since the decision to place Coach Petrino on paid administrative leave has been made, I’ve been leading a grassroots effort to keep him as our head football coach. Right now, we cannot afford to lose Coach Petrino as our head football coach.
I’m not sure why the University of Arkansas Athletic Department is trying to act all holy right now, considering I’ve worked on the inside of the University of Arkansas Athletic Department and know that worse things go on than these current issues with Coach Petrino. We must flood Athletic Director Jeff Long’s email addresses and telephone with our support for Coach Bobby Petrino to remain the head football coach. We need him immediately back on the football field to prepare our team to win the BCS National Championship.
Please email Athletic Director Jeff Long at the following email addresses to express your support for Coach Petrino to remain the head coach of our football team: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Additionally, call his university office number: (479) 575-7641. Take a moment and join the “Team Save Coach Petrino” Facebook group.
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison
An increasing number of public and private discourses are taking place across the nation about sagging pants. One wears sagging pants when his or her underwear or other undergarments are showing. It’s understandable if one does not like to see the undergarments of another person who has sagging pants. Although I see a person’s choice to sag his pants as being safeguarded by the First Amendment, I do understand those who support school rules and ordinances prohibiting sagging. Personally, I don’t sag and don’t think it’s an attractive fashion phenomenon. However, what’s not understandable is making deleterious assumptions about people just because they’ve elected to wear sagging pants. Unfortunately, Black males who wear sagging pants are disproportionately affected by unmerited assumptions about their sagging pants.
For White supremacists, sagging pants is a tangible reminder that Black males are still niggers. For those who hide their racial prejudice, all Black males who have sagging pants are viewed as dangerous. Those sagging pants send them a clear message that they’re ungovernable criminals who are going to harm us if we don’t get away from them and if we don’t keep them away from us.
I need to send many White people a message that just because a group of Black males who have sagging pants are walking down the same sidewalk as you are does not mean that they’re automatically a threat to you. In reality, Black males have more reason to be fearful of you than you of them. If you need some evidence of this, use Google to search for Bo Morrison and you will have just one piece of numerous pieces of evidence to support why I made the aforementioned statement.
Yes, some Black males who have sagging pants are involved in criminality and are dangerous. However, don’t place the blame on those sagging pants—place the blame squarely on the choices those individuals have made to commit themselves to a mindset of criminality.
For those White people who believe that all, most, or many Black males who have sagging pants are criminals and dangerous, do you feel the same way about White males with sagging pants? I’m just curious.
Black parents, it’s important to offer our children an understanding of the historical provenance of sagging pants. Wearing sagging pants emerged from prisons. In prisons, sagging pants is symbolic and a tangible expression to have other men recognize that one is homosexual and ready to be penetrated in the anus. While I’m in no way trying to get you to preach to your children against homosexuality, what I’m attempting to do is have you educate your children about the origin of sagging pants and the symbolic and practical meaning of those sagging pants for those situated in prison. I want your children to be fully informed about their choice to sag their pants.
For those who would try to suggest that Black males and others who sag their pants are trying to be like prisoners, you’re engaging in fallacious thought. What you’re really trying to do is construct some “evidence” to justify your prejudice and racism. Therefore, just be real and say so.
Black males need to be aware that people will make unwarranted assumptions about them just because they have sagging pants. In no way am I attempting to call for Black males to stop wearing sagging pants. I, however, want Black males to be aware that negative assumptions will be made about them because they have decided to wear sagging pants. Those sagging pants are contributing factors in why many White people have and are murdering Black males.
Instead of placing so much investment in what Black males are wearing and how they wear their clothing, how about devoting the same level of investment in ensuring they receive a high quality education and have a greater chance to experience success.
I argue that many people who don’t like Black males anyway are attempting to take our focus off of critical problems facing Black males. They want to thwart any chance that Black male academic underachievement will become a national issue we earnestly work together as a country to remedy. Let’s not allow them to bamboozle us! Let’s stay focused on real issues and problems Black males face—not sagging pants!
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison