White people know better?
On November 16, 2017, at a school board meeting in Baldwin County (Alabama), a black parent began voicing his concerns about black kids being afraid to report racism to school officials.
The parent went on to explain to the superintendent and board members that black students are scared to speak-out when they encounter racism at school because nobody takes them seriously, their concerns are dismissed, and “nothing get’s done.”
“Half the [black] kids are afraid,” he said.
School board member Shannon Cauley (formerly the President of the school board), can be seen smirking and shaking her head sarcastically as she says, “no they’re not,” just as the parent reiterates that black kids are scared to report racism.
It is unclear why Cauley – a white woman – would imply to know more about the feelings of black kids than the parents of those black kids, and the black kids themselves.
It is however quite clear to many who have watched this video that Baldwin County’s Board of Education is wholly uninterested in acknowledging or addressing the racism concerns of black students and parents.
Take a look for yourself. [Video below]
Where to go next?
With complaints going unanswered, board members dismissing legitimate concerns, and the Superintendent’s affinity with talking about things instead of actually doing anything meaningful, many parents and students are left empty-handed when it comes to where to go next.
Spanish Fort resident Kellie Watson points out that parents and students should use the complaint system on the website: BCBEComplaints.org to file a third-party complaint against teachers and administrators.
According to the website, BCBE Complaints is a non-profit accountability project that will record, deliver, and follow-up with complaints to Baldwin County’s Board of Education. BCBE Complaints is not affiliated with Baldwin County Board of Education, ensuring that school officials are held accountable by a third-party every time a complaint is filed.