Floyd County School Board Chair Tony Daniel said they have been in touch with the local NAACP chapter to begin addressing alleged incidents of racial harassment at Coosa High School.

Daniel said he’s been in touch with Rome-Floyd County NAACP President Sara Dahlice Malone as well as First Vice President Charles Love and they’re planning to have a meeting with the entire school board.

The date for that meeting hadn’t been set as of Wednesday.

Local NAACP leaders met with Coosa High School parents Saturday concerning complaints that the school system isn’t doing enough to address incidents of racial harassment at the school.

During that meeting several parents said Black students received harsher punishment than some of the White students at the school for the same infractions.

It’s a difficult allegation to prove, Malone said, since punishments in the school system are confidential.

The NAACP sent a letter on March 24 to the school system’s superintendent, Glenn White and the school board, asking them to address some earlier complaints by students and parents.

During the Saturday meeting, Love said the group hadn’t received a response to their March letter, a contention Daniel disagreed with.

Daniel said a letter was sent from the school system’s attorney, Stewart Duggan, to Malone on March 31. He provided an electronic copy of that letter to the Rome News-Tribune:

Dear Ms. Sara Dahlice Malone,

This firm represents Floyd County Schools, and your letter to Dr. Glenn White has been shared with our office. Floyd County Schools appreciates your letter, and it also takes very seriously all allegations of racial animus that your letter outlines and describes in more detail. Please recognize that Floyd County Schools neither condones nor tolerates any racially charged statements, any expressions or conduct reflecting racial animus, or any other expressions of hatred towards African-Americans and African-American students.

We also ask that you recognize and appreciate that Floyd County Schools is, unfortunately, prohibited from sharing information about students or about its investigations into student misconduct because of privacy laws and other federal restrictions imposed upon it like, for example, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Nonetheless, please know that Floyd County Schools is very attentive to your letter and all reports expressing concerns like yours. Also be assured that Floyd County Schools is very attentive to and proactive in promptly investigating, addressing, and dealing with all such reports of racial animus and will not tolerate such repugnant behaviors.

We appreciate your letter and expressed concerns. Floyd County Schools always welcomes letters expressing concerns from your local NAACP chapter and also welcomes concerns from all other concerned citizens. If you become aware of any other reports of racial incidents, we would very much appreciate your notifying us at once.

The Rome News-Tribune was unable to verify whether or not the NAACP received the March 31 letter.

From the school system’s perspective the incidents, including one on Oct. 11 where students waved a Confederate flag outside the school, are isolated.

Action has been taken in that incident, White said, although he would not give any additional details. Other videos and photos circulating on social media showing a teacher holding up a Trump flag in class and a student shouting racial epithets were dealt with as far back as last year, White said. He declined to comment further on either incident.

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