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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foynoyjones
0
Points
foynoyjones 10/27/09 - 12:12 pm
0
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Just bveasy, and you know

Just bveasy, and you know something about the two women who were selected and their qualifications?

butler123
1
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butler123 10/27/09 - 12:24 pm
0
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I still think we need to be

I still think we need to be attacked by aliens from another planet.

LaTwon
1
Points
LaTwon 10/27/09 - 12:40 pm
0
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i think the bell curve fell

i think the bell curve fell on your head justus.......... glenn hills middle school 89% black and 82% free lunch. tubman 92% black, 98% free lunch, lfes is 52% black but only 46% free lunch.

smec29
31
Points
smec29 10/27/09 - 12:58 pm
0
0
foy you did call his

foy you did call his name......
And if race is the case what's up with Hephzibah Middle and High having white principals?

Fiat_Lux
15696
Points
Fiat_Lux 10/27/09 - 01:12 pm
0
0
Agree with Corgimom. I just

Agree with Corgimom. I just hope they don't try to bankrupt the school system in their outrage. Nepotism and patronage have occurred in this school system and has been proven in court. But the last successful case I heard about only cost the BOE the price of the wronged party's owed salary and legal expenses, well under $100,000. The litigant didn't want to cause the school system big financial problems by going for punitive damages--which she would have gotten. She just wanted the position for which she was, by far, the most qualified applicant, despite the fact that she is white. Racial discrimination happens, but not often against Afr-Ams in this county.

jack
10
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jack 10/27/09 - 01:13 pm
0
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If I remember right, both

If I remember right, both Murphy and Tubman middle schools were rife with problems from unruly students. Dr Frazier was sent to Tubman I believe to straighten the place out. Too bad you don't have more Dr Fraziers instead of these two hacks..

mable8
2
Points
mable8 10/27/09 - 01:24 pm
0
0
I find it highly unlikely

I find it highly unlikely that these two men were not provided a reason for the demotions and subsequent reassignments; they know exactly why this occurred. It seems that they do not want to be principals in schools where the majority is black--which is rather stupid; children need education regardless of location. They also need good role models within their schools; do these men feel they cannot fulfill this part of the principalship? This is a frivolous lawsuit and filed because they did not get their way. But that's the name of the game--draw the race card whenever you can't have what you want.

Jdog33
0
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Jdog33 10/27/09 - 01:32 pm
0
0
I think they should sue the

I think they should sue the pants off the racist RBOE>>>>>>>>> My thiughts....So ,,,,

anotherlook
90
Points
anotherlook 10/27/09 - 02:00 pm
0
0
I am not up in arms about the

I am not up in arms about the situation with these two men because as I understand it they were not performing well at their previous positions. Our children deserve so much more than this! The RCBOE system is rife with protectionism and nepotism. Many teachers, teach not because it is a true calling, but because they wanted to have a job to fall back on. This should not be happening in our schools. I believe that if the school system were not so administratively top-heavy there would be better use of our resources. The Superintendent (acting or otherwise) should have removed and replaced any low performers instead of trying to preserve any positions for them at ANY school. It is not in our children's best interest to be taught by or have their teachers administered by people who don't value them more than a paycheck. Children are very good at ferreting out whether adults around them are honest, caring, and invested in their well-being. If these men have performed poorly in the past, then taking the appropriate steps then could have prevented this expensive headache! I view this as less of a problem about race but more of a problem with poor administration and management

Fiat_Lux
15696
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Fiat_Lux 10/27/09 - 03:08 pm
0
0
It's such an expensive

It's such an expensive headache that these two ought to be stuck with court costs and the RCBOE legal expenses if the suit is found to be frivolous.

justbeasy
0
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justbeasy 10/27/09 - 03:57 pm
0
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Yep, worked with both of

Yep, worked with both of them!!!!

akajenfer
0
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akajenfer 10/27/09 - 04:17 pm
0
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I was a white teacher in

I was a white teacher in predominately black school and I can honestly say that black children respond better to black teachers. They bring to school what they learn at home and unfortunately most of them learn to be racist. I battled constant behavior problems and was called honky, cracker, white b*tch and any other slur you can think of. Calling the parents didn't matter because to them I was just a white woman complaining about their kids.

Harmonielehre
0
Points
Harmonielehre 10/27/09 - 04:17 pm
0
0
When we still have to refer

When we still have to refer to people by their race and highlight our differences and negatives, as well as giving them preferential treatment, aren't we subtly encouraging bigotry?

corgimom
33216
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corgimom 10/27/09 - 04:38 pm
0
0
Or maybe ASU has learned the

Or maybe ASU has learned the hard way that a white college-age student teacher, who has lived in a white-bread world and thinks that all schools are like "Room 222", "Welcome Back Kotter", and "Stand by Me", sent into a predominatly black school, will have her akk kicked by the kids- because she is white and doesn't have a clue- and will last about 3 hours. Tops. Maybe the racism isn't on the side of ASU.

grinder48
1982
Points
grinder48 10/27/09 - 04:38 pm
0
0
Gosh almighty will we ever
Unpublished

Gosh almighty will we ever get over this crap? Anything about black people being discriminated against by the BOE is bunk. What percentage of the BOE employment is black compared with the percentage of black in the general population? I'm not at all writing to be anti-black, it's just that as long as black people keep using this out of date discrimination thing there will continue to be anomosity. It's 2009, it's over, get a life, achieve on your own merit instead of falsely crying foul to get ahead!!!

corgimom
33216
Points
corgimom 10/27/09 - 04:56 pm
0
0
If people think that all the

If people think that all the crap that goes on in the schools gets reported in the newspaper, think again. You wouldn't believe what goes on that doesn't get reported.

corgimom
33216
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corgimom 10/27/09 - 04:58 pm
0
0
For instance- nearly every

For instance- nearly every elementary school, no matter what the racial makeup or socioeconmic level, will have a child that has conveyed intentions of suicide or has acted in a way that makes a teacher suspect they are suicidal.

Buckwheat73
0
Points
Buckwheat73 10/27/09 - 05:08 pm
0
0
Wasn't Lumpkin relieved of

Wasn't Lumpkin relieved of his principal duties soon after his arrest? It must be nice to be so perfect, so revered, that whenever something happens that you don't like, it is always without fail an act of racism/discrimination.

apex24
0
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apex24 10/27/09 - 05:32 pm
0
0
Same old story with these

Same old story with these posts. Blacks siding with blacks before they ever know the merits of the case. Look at the dates. They have to make a move because their three year statute of limitation is running out.

corgimom
33216
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corgimom 10/27/09 - 06:15 pm
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It's pretty bad in RC when

It's pretty bad in RC when black principals don't want to be assigned to black schools.

foynoyjones
0
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foynoyjones 10/27/09 - 06:35 pm
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Waste of the taxpayers time

Waste of the taxpayers time and dime---both need to be fired, bet both of them are low performers and their schools show it!

corgimom
33216
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corgimom 10/27/09 - 06:38 pm
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This is from Champ Walker's

This is from Champ Walker's O--FISH--AL resume- I am not making this up-"CEO Bright Ideas and Principle at Greenhood Industries" How does a person become a principle?

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
8355
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ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 10/27/09 - 06:48 pm
0
0
I'd say by not having any

I'd say by not having any scruples!

foynoyjones
0
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foynoyjones 10/27/09 - 07:15 pm
0
0
What does one expect from ol

What does one expect from ol Champy boy! He is an un scruplous doofus--just like fat charlie!

foynoyjones
0
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foynoyjones 10/27/09 - 07:53 pm
0
0
Just two black guys trying to

Just two black guys trying to make an extra buck playing the "race" card!

LCC0256
634
Points
LCC0256 10/27/09 - 08:46 pm
0
0
when are you citizens going

when are you citizens going to realize that the public school system is broken BEYOND repair?...why worry about these types of issues?...visit one of the area's excellent private schools...(or get together with other parents and start one) How many times are you going to be subjected to this sort of behavior before you wake up and realize that YOUR CHILDREN ARE THE ONES THAT SUFFER AND ARE LOSING...poor discipline, horrible (entrenched) teachers parents who have NO BUSINESS BEING PARENTS...why do you continually subject and expose your precious children to this? is that big house or boat or expensive car or condo at the beach really worth forcing a hit and miss education upon your children? Coupled with high incidents of violence & a general daily degradation of their spirit? As for these 2 "educators" could it be the absolutely DISGRACEFUL conditions in their respective schools while they were in charge possibly to be the cause of their transfer? And do you see how that was handled? MOVING THEM TO OTHER SCHOOLS where their incompetence could be forced upon more helpless children....

crackertroy
540
Points
crackertroy 10/27/09 - 09:02 pm
0
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This makes no sense. Skill
Unpublished

This makes no sense. Skill and experience can be used in any school, no matter the demographics. If they have skill and experience it can be used at Butler, Glenn Hills, Westside, Lakeside, Augusta Prep. Am I stupid or do they really have a case?

noamsain
50
Points
noamsain 10/27/09 - 10:41 pm
0
0
RC is predominately black

RC is predominately black county...blacks complained when there were not enough blacks in admin positions...even had the school zones gerrymandered to make the schools be mostly black...now, these idiots are suing? Puh-leeze! The people who should be suing are the white males who can’t get hired in this county for admin jobs...used to be when the skirt chaser was at the top only women and black men were promoted-skirt chaser had the school zones fixed so the schools are mainly black....now these two clowns are going to sue? The B.O.E. has the right to assign them anywhere the board sees fit...schools should look like their communities....a white principal would not make sense at Laney or Josey or Butler or..oh yeah, forgot that there aren’t any majority white high schools in R.C. any longer....

hickstreetlane
0
Points
hickstreetlane 10/27/09 - 10:47 pm
0
0
Asitisinaug you were there at

Asitisinaug you were there at tubman for a while, was it with Lumpkin?

hickstreetlane
0
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hickstreetlane 10/27/09 - 11:07 pm
0
0
Go Rickey Go Harltey you two

Go Rickey Go Harltey you two rock! Two guys that were thrown into schools with many problems without first being molded and shaped to bring them along as good principals. Both were expected to do wonders. Alot of assistant principals are first put into elementary/smaller schools as principals to help them develop into good principals. Frazier at Glenn Hills and Moore at Cross Creek are good examples. Both did their time at smaller schools. I think this goes back to Larke days of putting people in place that were not ready or qualified for the jobs they got. Look at what it cost when RCBE got sued by Mrs. Shinn when Larke put Lady Barnes in place to please her dad. Seems to me Larke caused many problems that are still affecting RCBE.

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