Educators cite race in Richmond County schools lawsuit

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Two black male educators have jointly sued the Richmond County Board of Education, alleging their job assignments have been based on racial grounds instead of skill and experience.

Hartley Gibbons Jr. and Rickey A. Lumpkin filed suit in U.S. District Court on Oct. 19 seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

The defendants have 20 days to respond to the lawsuit, which represents only one side of the dispute.

According to the lawsuit against the board and former interim Superintendent James F. Thompson, the issue began at a May 10, 2007, school board meeting when members voted to demote Mr. Gibbons and Mr. Lumpkin.

Mr. Gibbons, according to the lawsuit, has 15 years of experience and was the principal of Glenn Hills Middle School until May 2007. Mr. Lumpkin, with 12 years' experience, was principal of Tubman Middle School until May 2007.

The lawsuit alleges they were given no reason for their transfers to assistant principal positions at Butler High School and Cross Creek High School, respectively.

According to the lawsuit, the men were told that they would be offered the first available principal positions, based on seniority, at elementary schools. But that didn't happen, they alleged.

The principal position at Lake Forrest Hills Elementary opened at the end of the 2007-2008 school year. Mr. Gibbons contends that while he should have been offered the job based on seniority, the job was given to a white woman. Lake Forrest has a high white pupil population with 42 percent, the lawsuit alleges.

It continues that when the principal position opened at Gracewood Elementary School in the spring of 2009, both Mr. Gibbons and Mr. Lumpkin were passed over for a white woman, Sharon McAlevy, while she was in the midst of a sex scandal investigation at her former school.

Ms. McAlevy resigned and was sanctioned by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission this fall. According to the lawsuit, Gracewood Elementary's white pupil population is 40 percent.

Mr. Gibbons and Mr. Lumpkin were reassigned to principal positions at Terrance Manor Elementary and Wilkinson Gardens Elementary School, respectively.

Terrance Manor's student population is 94 percent black, and Wilkinson's student population is 92 percent black, according to the lawsuit.

Mr. Gibbons and Mr. Lumpkin claim racial discrimination.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com

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Asitisinaug
4
Points
Asitisinaug 10/27/09 - 02:24 am
0
0
Of course that is what they

Of course that is what they claim. When you can't stand on your own merits and you are black in America, you simply claim racism no matter what the real problem is even though it can generally be viewed by looking in the mirror. I guess the black superintendent who has done a great job thus far at improving the schools who decided not to move these two to positions they prefered is now a racist. Hopefully the courts will throw out these pathetic law suits and the BOE will then rightfully non-renew the contracts of these non-educators.

justus4
130
Points
justus4 10/27/09 - 04:13 am
0
0
They will easily win their
Unpublished

They will easily win their cases because of their understanding of the discrimination laws and the failure of the intern superintendent to exercise established laws free from personal prejudices. The idiot interim didn't want African-American men being principal in schools with a high number of non-minority children. This is classic, typical, common, and THE root cause of most issues in the CSRA. It's that simple...and these guys are exceptional in their education and their skills to educate kids. One is retired military with impeccable education credentials and deserved to be out front, but prejudice and bias allowed someone, already under a cloud of suspicion, to be selected because of U know what. That's shameful! And African-American men are said to "have a chip on their shoulder" well, this is exactly why. Giving unqualified, and unskilled non-minority females jobs based on their ethnicity is clearly what happened in these cases, but that interim guy is directly responsible. He was the failure and the courts should hold him accountable too. Again, this is an easy one to judge and hopefully the courts will Do The Right Thing.

mefirst
0
Points
mefirst 10/27/09 - 04:35 am
0
0
AsitisinAug:your post; at

AsitisinAug:your post; at 2;24 AM mystifies me. Exactly which of her "merits"was Ms. McAlevy standing on when she recieved the promotion to principle at Gracewood? I will be the first to apologise to her if you can prove to me that she deserved the rise in rank and responsibility.

concernednative
28
Points
concernednative 10/27/09 - 05:22 am
0
0
That is kinda the way it

That is kinda the way it works. That is unwritten code in the GA school systems.

bettyboop
8
Points
bettyboop 10/27/09 - 06:05 am
0
0
Principal of Glen Hills

Principal of Glen Hills middle school and Tubman Middle school...maybe ..just maybe their job performances at theses troubled schools has SOMETHING to do with not wanting them in positions of power again....just saing..the race card in this area is soooo passe!

WhippingPost
1
Points
WhippingPost 10/27/09 - 06:12 am
0
0
But, both men were assigned

But, both men were assigned principal jobs. Is it their perspective they should make the decision as to where to be placed? Weren't they placed soon enough? Did they want to run white schools and have the white principals run the black schools? ( which should be okay in a perfect world) There's a reason for the unwritten code that cn mentions. Seems like a tempest in a teapot and an opportunity for Gibbons and Lumpkin to be dissed.

foynoyjones
0
Points
foynoyjones 10/27/09 - 08:29 am
0
0
Blacks playing the race card

Blacks playing the race card agin---Imagine that!

Bored in GA
9
Points
Bored in GA 10/27/09 - 08:42 am
0
0
I tend to agree with

I tend to agree with "bettyboop",Look if you want pull all files on all four and see about the PERFORMANCE ! And then think women are also a MINORITY!! OK RACE is a race for all humans!! Get over the RACE so you keep calling it to advance before your time!!

ispy4u
0
Points
ispy4u 10/27/09 - 09:16 am
0
0
I guess it's okay when

I guess it's okay when "Whites" play the race card? I do not know the merits of their cases but it is now up to the courts to decide, whether or not they have one.

dstewartsr
20394
Points
dstewartsr 10/27/09 - 09:17 am
0
0
If they were principals at

If they were principals at Glenn Hills and Tubman, respectively, they are indeed fortunate to have ANY position. There may well be some racism- the kind that protects low performance, and we all know who is always the beneficiary of lowered expectations.

saintlover
0
Points
saintlover 10/27/09 - 09:23 am
0
0
What happened to CHANGE !!!

What happened to CHANGE !!! Same old crying race, start getting demoted and fired unfairly like the white folks !!

saintlover
0
Points
saintlover 10/27/09 - 09:33 am
0
0
OK, this is making me mad...

OK, this is making me mad... 'white woman'??? If I say, I got passed over for a black man then I am a racist... I should just say I got passed over for a man. DOESNT matter black, white, green, martian.... So they should say they got passed over by a woman.... just look sexist instead of racist.... ahahhahahaaa!

ispy4u
0
Points
ispy4u 10/27/09 - 09:45 am
0
0
What's the difference in

What's the difference in their claiming race while some of you claim other advanced because of Affirmative Action?

FallingLeaves
31
Points
FallingLeaves 10/27/09 - 09:53 am
0
0
It's Terrace Manor, not

It's Terrace Manor, not Terrance Manor, Ms. Hopkins.

AWyld1
3
Points
AWyld1 10/27/09 - 10:09 am
0
0
So you don't get the job you

So you don't get the job you want it has to be racism? I would say look at their respective school AYP scores then tell me what their bargaining power is. The playing of the race card gets old in Augusta. Wonder why when you hire a greater proportion of blacks it's called affirmitive action but do the same with whites and it's racism.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
20463
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 10/27/09 - 10:10 am
0
0
40 and 42 % white populations

40 and 42 % white populations in those schools don't make them predominatly white. That makes them 58 and 60% minority, so where is the BEEF??? Some of you are so quick to play the used up card that you can't see that it doesn't apply!!

stillamazed
1493
Points
stillamazed 10/27/09 - 10:44 am
0
0
Should jobs simply be based

Should jobs simply be based on seniority when perhaps there are other reasons why a person should not be promoted??????And to justus, where is the justice?????? Who are you to say that these women are unskilled, especially since you don't know them or their work or educational background. Funny with you how you never post when a black person has done wrong but only when you think one has been done wrong.

Reality
3
Points
Reality 10/27/09 - 10:45 am
0
0
How can you blame them, it

How can you blame them, it worked for Teresa Smith........I agree cbbp the percentage of white kids still makes them a minority...Wake up people, looking at the schools they were in charge of doesn't instill much confidence in their leadership. I know this is a stretch but maybe they should have been fired long ago.

55 F-100
1
Points
55 F-100 10/27/09 - 11:13 am
0
0
They have principal jobs,

They have principal jobs, presently, and tht is all that matters. This is frivilous litigation.......the attorneys filing this should be sanctioned or disbarred. Gibbons and Lumpkin need to be thankful for their jobs, and should forget trying to get a quick "payday" via a frivilous, ridiculous lawsuit.

foynoyjones
0
Points
foynoyjones 10/27/09 - 11:14 am
0
0
ipsydoodle, when has being

ipsydoodle, when has being white and playing the "race" card gotten a white anywhere? Does affirmative action apply to whites too, if it does, I haven't seen it! Have you?

bigclaude
381
Points
bigclaude 10/27/09 - 11:24 am
0
0
Sigh....You know I read an

Sigh....You know I read an article on another website this morning about a guy who came into a courtroom with a bag of feces and rubbed it on his lawyer.

Perhaps if we did that to lawyers who bring suits like this then we could slow down these types of cases a little bit.

Racial Discrimination is not acceptable in any form, but these cases aren't about justice. They are about money. Ask Mr. Gibbons and Mr. Lumpkin if they would accept a gulity plea from the BOE right now in exchange for no financial compensation. Ask them that question and see what type of answer you get.

KingJames
12
Points
KingJames 10/27/09 - 11:31 am
0
0
The only true gripe here is

The only true gripe here is being passed over for Sharon McAlevy. Other than that, I don't see a problem if their pay wasn't effected. These two guys might be the only father figure some of their students may have, and they are busy crying over not going somewhere else. Maybe they should watch the movie Lean On Me. It just might help them to get their priorities straight.

katieamber1
0
Points
katieamber1 10/27/09 - 11:33 am
0
0
I agree with you "bigc.."

I agree with you "bigc.." Racial Discrimination is not accepted.. anywhere. Yet The job that was given to a "white woman" had a population for 40% white students..which to me makes sense. Chicldren have to relate to authority in some respect. Especially with the way kids are these days..it is more understandable for a black child to relate better to a black principle vs. a white. and vice versa. Although bigc was right.. it's about money..it's always about money.

foynoyjones
0
Points
foynoyjones 10/27/09 - 11:35 am
0
0
Racial discrimination is only

Racial discrimination is only accepted these days if you are white, and it's profilic in this country!!!!

justbeasy
0
Points
justbeasy 10/27/09 - 11:43 am
0
0
The question is why were they

The question is why were they promised the first two elementary jobs that were to come available, but then they were passed up for them. It''s true folks, it was a race issue but it does go both ways. Certian schools you expect a white principal, certain schools expect a black principal. Considering that these two elementary schools came open and they WERE promised the next schools available, shouldn't they have gotten them regardless. It was already wrong they got demoted, when they weren't even at the middle schools long enough to change anything, (for those of you who keep crying look at the reports, they weren't there long enough.) So playing the race card is applicable to this situation but on the same token, don't expect a white principal at Laney or Josey anytime soon.

corgimom
53597
Points
corgimom 10/27/09 - 11:49 am
0
0
They need to be in a high

They need to be in a high school setting- those kids need a male authority figure- but they didn't do their jobs. And it's not our perception of what their jobs should be, it's the BOE's perception, and there were better people available. Knowing how Augusta works, and knowing those two schools, I'd say there was major crap going on at those two schools and they didn't stop it. I don't know that, but that's my guess.

baronvonreich
1
Points
baronvonreich 10/27/09 - 11:52 am
0
0
Seniority has nothing to do

Seniority has nothing to do with these 2 clowns getting a principal job. There is no teacher union in Augusta. Just 2 more angry black men who think that 40 years and $40 trillion haven't been enough so they are going to pull out the never ending race card when something doesn't go their way. It is so sad that these people won't take responsibility for themselves and work hard and accept fair competition.

foynoyjones
0
Points
foynoyjones 10/27/09 - 12:05 pm
0
0
Deerhunter, with that

Deerhunter, with that "enstien" brain of yours, did it ever occur, the charges were unfounded--and YOU are allowed to vote, sheech!

justbeasy
0
Points
justbeasy 10/27/09 - 12:07 pm
0
0
Some of you like to comment

Some of you like to comment on things you know nothing about, both men are hardworking individuals but I agree don't be slapped in the face all the time. They should've gotten those first two elementary positions that came open, really they should not have been moved, but it's was understood that those two schools should have white principals. In fact, this lawsuit may help nix the assumption that certain people should be placed at certain schools.

foynoyjones
0
Points
foynoyjones 10/27/09 - 12:10 pm
0
0
Deer, I didn't call you a

Deer, I didn't call you a name, now did I?

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