Education

More News | |

Appeals court rejects 2 Richmond County principals' claim that demotions were race-based

Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011 2:47 PM
Last updated 9:10 PM
  • Follow Education

A lawsuit filed by two Richmond County school principals who contended the school system demoted them because they are black was rejected by a federal appeals court.

Back | Next
Rickey A. Lumpkin  Special
Special
Rickey A. Lumpkin

A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Atlanta, affirmed a federal district court ruling dismissing the 2009 claim Tuesday.

Hartley Gibbons Jr. was the principal of Glenn Hills Middle School, and Rickey A. Lumpkin was the principal of Tubman Middle School until May 2007. Their replacements also were black men, the 11th Circuit stated, and neither Gibbons nor Lumpkin submitted evidence that the decision to replace them “was a pretextual device specifically designed to disguise an act of discrimination.”

The Richmond County school board, however, did show legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons to demote and deny promotions to Gibbons and Lumpkin, the federal district court ruled, and the 11th Circuit affirmed that.

Gibbons and Lumpkin testified they were treated differently from principals who had school performance and discipline issues, but heir schools, the 11th Circuit stated, were being monitored by the state and were in danger of being closed for repeatedly falling short of federal No Child Left Behind Act requirements.

After May 2007, Gibbons was transferred to an assistant principal’s position at George P. Butler High School, and Lumpkin became an assistant principal at Cross Creek High.

After the 2007-08 school year, Gibbons was appointed as the principal of Terrace Manor Elementary School, and Lumpkin was named the principal of Wilkinson Gardens Elementary School. They are still in those positions.

They contended they were passed over for more prestigious principalships, at Lake Forest Hills and Gracewood elementary schools, in favor of white women.

The court said, however, that at Terrace Manor and Wilkinson Gardens, Gibbons and Lumpkin received the same job titles, work responsibilities and compensation as the principals at Gracewood and Lake Forest Hills. Although there might have been differences in the prestige and resources available at Gracewood and Lake Forest, the court said, those differences do not establish that Gibbons and Lumpkin suffered “a serious and material change in the terms, conditions, or privileges of (their) employment.”

Comments (8) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
bclicious
770
Points
bclicious 11/23/11 - 05:11 pm
0
0
GOOD! Hopefully this is a

GOOD!

Hopefully this is a sign of things to come. I hate affirmative action in all forms. People should be promoted on and demoted based solely upon their merits or demerits.

kiwiinamerica
982
Points
kiwiinamerica 11/23/11 - 09:20 pm
0
0
The "Race Card". Don't leave
Unpublished

The "Race Card".

Don't leave home without it!

KSL
144449
Points
KSL 11/23/11 - 10:09 pm
0
0
kiwi, one of my first cousins

kiwi, one of my first cousins lives on the North Island.

Asitisinaug
4
Points
Asitisinaug 11/24/11 - 03:43 am
0
0
The only additional statement

The only additional statement the court should have made:

You both are very lucky, unlike the children in your care, and most likely the only reason you still have jobs due your dismal performance is due to your race. Frankly, both of you should have been terminated.

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 11/24/11 - 07:09 am
0
0
It could not have had

It could not have had ANYTHING to do with job performance so it had to be because they are people of color.

TrukinRanger
1748
Points
TrukinRanger 11/24/11 - 07:58 am
0
0
They should have been fired
Unpublished

They should have been fired for good... not just shuffled around...

Truth Matters
8097
Points
Truth Matters 11/24/11 - 08:03 am
0
0
It seems evident that now

It seems evident that now that the state of Georgia is planning to be released from certain NCLB mandates; there must be problems with using it as an absolute measure of school performance. If that is the case, cannot reasonable people also conclude that using NCLB as the measure to determine principalship may also be faulty? You may not agree with the two principals' position that they were overlooked for reasons of race, and reasonable minds can certainly disagree on that point; however, do not make the leap that the two white principals were more qualified. (I would hope that if they are principals, they are qualified, period.) Do not allow your disdain for affirmative action (and nothing in this article says that was an issue), lead you to conclude that any appointment of a person of color is due to preferential treatment.

Happy Thanksgiving All. Those of us who have jobs and are making a positive contribution to society are indeed blessed.

avidreader
3567
Points
avidreader 11/24/11 - 08:31 am
0
0
It's a crazy world we live

It's a crazy world we live in.

hounddog
0
Points
hounddog 11/24/11 - 09:14 am
0
0
Haki, ‘Race Card? That's a
Unpublished

Haki, ‘Race Card? That's a d**b statement. Ignorance is bliss.’
Yes the ‘Race Card’ is about worn out. Most of the former ‘Civil Rights’ groups like the NAACP have become ‘Special Rights’ groups.

Craig Spinks
818
Points
Craig Spinks 11/24/11 - 04:08 pm
0
0
Asitisinaug, You and I think

Asitisinaug,

You and I think alike. Are you a retired public school teacher, too?

How many times did I hear former RCBOE member Jeff Annis on local radio comment, "You can't fire a teacher."

Wonder if a variation of that mentality exists today among RCBOE trustees? That variation: "We can't terminate an administrator."

Does the mentality exposed by Annis continue to exist among RCBOE members? Does a variation of this exposed mentality also exist among RCBOE trustees?

How many RCSS teachers have been terminated in the last fiscal year? How many RCSS administrators?

The aforementioned are two questions whose answers seem ESSENTIAL to this taxpayer.

browneyesforever
0
Points
browneyesforever 11/27/11 - 10:55 pm
0
0
You two are very lucky to

You two are very lucky to have a job, I wonder if a classified employee would be able to bring lawsuit aganist RCBOE and keep their job.

Back to Top
loading...
Search Augusta jobs