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Protesters call for Copeland Elementary principal's dismissal

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 7:25 PM
Last updated Thursday, June 6, 2013 12:19 AM
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A Copeland Elementary School parent led a protest on the eighth block of Broad Street on Wednesday into the Richmond County Board of Education offices, where he delivered Superintendent Frank Roberson a petition demanding the removal of Principal Kim Davis.

The Rev. Franklin Victor Beckles is alleging Davis has mistreated parents, suspended pupils without cause and “abused her power as principal.”

Beckles provided a petition with 200 signatures, which he said came from parents and residents in the community, demanding Davis’ removal.

The seven adults who accompanied Beckles said Davis has threatened parents, allowed students to be driven home by strangers and not properly reported incidents at school.

“We’re doing this for the children,” Beckles said. “Our kids are being suspended from school for frivolous reasons.”

Roberson said he has no evidence that verifies any of Beckles’ claims and has no reason to discipline Davis. In an exchange between the men in the board conference room, Roberson said he would not tolerate anyone slandering his employees without proof.

“When you say parents have been threatened by the principal, I’m going to require you to provide evidence of that,” Roberson said. “This is totally unfair. I’m not going to allow any member of my staff to be defamed.”

After two parents said they withdrew their children this year because of Davis, Roberson told them there is no problem so severe at Copeland to deny pupils an education.

He asked the parents to explain their concerns and the specific problems they were facing at Copeland, but the group chose to leave. Roberson offered to take down their names and numbers, but parent Iiesha McLendon said they did not provide their information because they have tried to contact Roberson in the past without success.

On Wednesday morning, about 25 supporters of Davis held a news conference outside the school defending their principal.

Renaldo Woolfolk, the outgoing Copeland PTA president, said he also had a petition of nearly 200 signatures of those who support Davis and stand by her through “false accusations.”

He said Davis is available for any parents who have concerns, has led the school through curriculum changes and takes care of children as though they are her own.

“Our school is under control and is being run by one of the top principals in the county,” Woolfolk said.

Supporters of Davis also questioned the motives and credibility of the person bringing accusations against her.

Beckles said he is affiliated with Sons for Christ Church of God and is the founder of Children’s Christian Center on Old McDuffie Road.

He said Thursday he is a firefighter for the Augusta Fire Department, but according to Fire Chief Chris James, Beckles has not been employed for several years.

Beckles also said he was a police officer with the New Orleans Police Department, but a human resources official there told The Augusta Chronicle on Wednesday there is no record of Beckles in their organization.

Beckles later told The Chronicle that he was actually a security guard in New Orleans.

Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Schools Missoura Ashe said school safety officers were called because Beckles made the front office staffers uncomfortable May 2. By the time they arrived, he had left.

Beckles said that he was concerned about an incident in April in which his son was bullied and had his glasses broken and that Davis never addressed the issue.

Ashe said a statement taken from another pupil showed the pupil was playing a “slapping game” with Beckles’ son and accidently knocked off his glasses, which she apologized for.

Beckles said he will continue to reach out to school officials and still wants to see Davis out of Copeland.

“We want to let them know what’s going on in these schools,” Beckles said.

Roberson said he wants to hear the concerns directly from parents but believes the school is functioning properly.

“This is a fabrication, this is a complete fabrication,” Roberson said. “When you’re manipulating children through their parents, I’m totally upset about that. I’m not going to let this guy get away with this mess.”

Staff Writer Steve Crawford contributed to this article.

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scoopdedoop64 06/05/13 - 07:59 pm

I know nothing more than what I read here in this article about the people or the situation so I am not going to comment on too much. However, I think it odd that this "Rev" Beckels was once a firefighter, said he was a police officer but there is no record of it. I seriously doubt he is a "Reverend" either. Unfortunately, today there are churches that ordain anyone who say they are called to be one without any credentials at all. There are a certain group of people who like to be called "reverend" or "apostle" or some other religious name because they are so hyped up on power and pride. It's a shame and a disgrace to real ministers everywhere. This is similar to the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton. Some people like this want to intimidate others and that MAY be the case here.

Gage Creed
Gage Creed 06/05/13 - 08:16 pm
Google Franklin Victor

Google Franklin Victor Beckles.... it's a hoot. The LinkedIn entry is a must read.

mystery30815 06/05/13 - 08:29 pm
So, he is the director of

So, he is the director of Augusta Christian Academy but his child goes to Copeland Elementary?

scoopdedoop64 06/05/13 - 08:31 pm

@GageCreed Thanks for the post. Amazing how padded his profile seemed to be. At the school he said he got a doctor of divinity from (New Life Theological School) it does not list that as being offered on their website. I also noticed that he was arrested on February 5, 2013 on a $1300 bond; it says surrendered by bondsman. So I don't know what the original charge was. This guy sounds like a bully to me.

Just My Opinion
Just My Opinion 06/05/13 - 08:44 pm
"I’m not going to let this

"I’m not going to let this guy get away with this mess.”!
LOL!! Could you ever imagine Columbia County School Superintendent Charles Nagle making a public comment like that??
I guess this just shows that if someone wants to discuss things professionally with Dr. Roberson, then he will respond professionally. BUT..if someone wants to take matters into the gutter, then Dr. Roberson will roll up his sleeves and get in the gutter right wichya!!
Look, it's painfully obvious that these parents, even though they may have a case, HAVE to provide proof if they're going to make accusations. If they don't, then they can't be taken seriously.

nocnoc 06/05/13 - 09:29 pm
Its a Another Rev at a Protest

Rev. Franklin Victor Beckles
his Bio says it all, and all, and all, and all.

1st is there some unwritten rule for black protests, that requires a Reverend to be the #1 person in charge of a protest?
Did I miss that rule growing up?

Do I think RCBOE should investigate?
Yes the RCBOE should look into it .

If the parents want any level of credibility moving forward, they need:

*a new spokesman, not a flamer thrower seeking frame, interviews for quotes and a resulting meal ticket.

* to each demonstrate their communication skills, and show they are not salivating for fight, but instead seeking a solution.

* each need to 1st actually, and peacefully address the RCBOE like civilized adults and not a group of grown up brats.

For a Protest march I give this a 2 out of 10, after all he did have about 200 ticked off people sign something. Not sure if they were all parents or read what they signed.

For Numbers, well 7 adults is NOT a Protest Group March, It is a gang.

For originality for a Protest march. I give this a 1 out of 10. Nothing eye just the usual group of adults whining about something more than looking for a fix. In this case their kids got schooled at school.

For believability for a Protest march, I have to give this a ZERO.

All due to the protesters spokesperson / organizer lack of wishing to actual meet and work out a solution instead just grabbing headlines to boost his fame and leaving before communicating verbally with those in authority to listen. In other words, if there was any validity to the complains it went out the window given the uncivil method of delivery .

To the parents
Call the RCBOE set up an appointment, send them a list of "your"
concerns not those developed by others for you for their benefit.
Keep the scheduled meeting and monitor the results.
This is how it is handled in a civilized world.

mosovich 06/05/13 - 09:59 pm
This is..

This is hilarious, but hey, you're talking about Augusta, so I'm not surprised..

prov227 06/05/13 - 10:29 pm
This man (Beckles) bears scrutiny ...

since he has a printed claim to have a doctorate from a school that does not grant doctorates and the school in Charlotte, NC was only eight years old when he attended (not much time to develop a doctoral program). He uses "Dr." as a prefix on Linkedin. He claims to "administer" educational programs. I would also be concerned about a claim to be a "9/11 hero". There should be something other than a "claim" to be a hero listed (maybe a medal or official commendation). Wonder what he taught in the RC schools for over two years?

ragingbull 06/05/13 - 11:06 pm
His bio reminds me of the old

His bio reminds me of the old commercial they use to run during election cycles on WBBQ, ( for those of us old enough to remember). It was a spoof of a candidate running for public office named Alfred Hogsnatch who had credentials for everything from being a medical doctor to an ordained minister and was even a PHD.

GiantsAllDay 06/05/13 - 11:27 pm
His LinkedIn resume is very

His LinkedIn resume is very impressive indeed. I always thought that a mall cop was different than a real police officer, so I learned something today. He left one important thing off his résumé , however. He developed a cure for cancer in 2004.

thauch12 06/06/13 - 02:16 am

The story behind Mr. Beckles gets even more clouded when you click on the links on his LinkedIn page for "people similar to Dr. Franklyn Victor." It looks like he has about 5 different LinkedIn profiles (all with pictures of the same man)...each one even more ridiculous than the last.

Case in point: he claims to the president of the Augusta NAACP (which he is clearly NOT), a "bishop" (given this title by whom?), a "famous civil rights leader" (according to whom?), fire chief of Williston (apparently not according to their website), vice-principal of the Aiken Academy (a "renowned" school in "extremely racist" Aiken which I/Google have never heard of), a "famous TV actor/evangelist," and my personal favorite..."reality TV star on Extreme Makeover:Home Edition." Oh plus on top of this is, he was a Navy SEAL, has a second PhD from Charleston Southern, and was AN OLYMPIC WEIGHTLIFTER.
All of his "proof" consists of links to blogs which look like he himself/a 6 year old put together.

I really hope this is some sort of joke. If not, this guy is at best a pathological liar or at worst absolutely crazy.

Little Lamb
Little Lamb 06/06/13 - 08:53 am

Never trust someone who says, “It’s for the chi - i - i - ih - rin.”

Cocomommy 06/06/13 - 09:12 am
Chuck Norris

Beckles was originally offered the role of Walker Texas Ranger, but turned it down.

Ghosts tell Beckles stories around the campfire.

Beckles was himself in a previous life.

David Parker
David Parker 06/06/13 - 09:32 am
Stranger than fiction

...wait a second

Good grief!

rmwhitley 06/06/13 - 10:12 am
A bushel

and a Beckles.

navycubfan 06/06/13 - 10:17 am
Navy What?????

Hmmm Navy Seal Trainee.. I wonder how long he lasted in BUD/S. And A Sonar Technician Chief Petty Officer? I know it's quite simple for Sailors to get degrees while on Active Duty. But school, part time job (He was a New Orleans Mall Cop while in the Navy) and his Navy job is all quite amazing. And if he was a reservist, he would never have gone to BUD/S. I totally agree with NOCNOC. Copeland Elementary Parents....find a new spokesman who will represent you properly and be willing to sit down with the RCBOE and work for a solution/resolution.

GiantsAllDay 06/06/13 - 11:16 am
Beckles can be the Augusta

Beckles can be the Augusta version of the Dos Equis man!!! Instead of being the most interesting man in the world, he can be the most interesting man in Augusta. I'll start it off:
"His 10 gallon hat holds approximately 13 gallons"
I don't always pad my résumé, but when I do--wait a minute, I ALWAYS pad my résumé

Pops 06/06/13 - 06:05 pm
He needs to run

for mayor.

karradur 06/06/13 - 06:31 pm

There is something very, VERY wrong with this news story.

"Reverend" Beckles sounds like a flat-out con artist.

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