Coosa High School, Coosa Middle School

Coosa High School, Coosa Middle School

Coosa High School parents are looking for more action from Floyd County Board of Education members and administrators to address incidents involving racial harassment at the school.

Many of their complaints stem from incidents that took place last year and earlier this school year. Videos circulating on social media last week reignited frustrations.

Students had planned to host a protest at the school Friday but were swiftly shut down by Principal Judson Cox, and the law enforcement presence was increased on campus.

The Rome NAACP held a community meeting Saturday that drew about 15 to 20 adults. Second Vice President Charles Love said they’re just gathering information for now — listening to parents before they move forward with any action. Right now, they don’t know what kind of action they might take.

The group had already sent a letter, on March 24, citing some complaints by students and parents to the Floyd County school system’s superintendent, Glenn White. Love said they didn’t receive any response — from either White or school board members.

Jessica Murray, who has two daughters at CHS, talked about some of the harassment her daughters have faced from both students and teachers. She said one of her daughters was called a racial epithet by a teacher and was told she was violating dress code by wearing a shirt picturing George Floyd. The handcuffed man died slowly in front of a horrified crowd in May 2020 with a Minneapolis police officer’s knee on his neck.

"They said she was violating dress code by causing a disruption in class and it was offending other students," Murray said. "The issue with the Confederate flag, students could be waving that flag across the campus ... but nothing happened."

Murray said she has tried reaching out to school board members and White, but she has gotten little to no response so far.

"I sent Mr. Cox the evidence and the only response I got back was 'I've received your email,'" she said. "I have reached out to Students Affairs at the board of education, pleading to speak with the superintendent about how I don't feel like my issues at the school are being handled properly."

Other parents present said they have run into similar issues with the administration and seen very little action taken to defend their children.

"I'm new to the area, my daughter started going to Coosa, and just (Friday), there was an incident on the bus where someone was saying the n-word and calling her different names," said Nico Woods. "When she asked him what gave him the right to call her that, he said he had the n-word pass."

He said he knows about other incidents with kids going on in the community.

"My concern here is that these people are not replying back, even the ones taking the proper procedures to address the situation," he said.

Several said their kids seem to receive harsher punishment than some white students at the school for the same infractions. However, NAACP President Sara Dahlice Malone pointed out that they can’t know that for sure, since punishments would be confidential.

The NAACP is asking anyone with concerns about racial disparities or harassment at Coosa or other local high schools to contact them by email at RomeNaacp@yahoo.com.

1
3
0
1
7

Recommended for you