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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hickstreetlane
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hickstreetlane 10/27/09 - 11:39 pm
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Asitisinaug you in other post

Asitisinaug you in other post have have spoke of RCBE pubic safety. I here the new director of did not want Circular Pine but had to take him as Luiet to get the job? Bedden rammed Circular Pine in with his prior problems not even giving a hint of fairness to all the others that had been there for so long. I mean you spoke so highly of Pakett, would he not made a good Luiet? Pakett along with others got passed over for a chance to move up by Bedden. Looks like maybe some reverse discrimination going on against white boys at Pubic Safety.

opinionated princess
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opinionated princess 10/27/09 - 11:56 pm
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everybody in this state is

everybody in this state is crazy!!

Pu239
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Pu239 10/27/09 - 11:59 pm
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show me da money
Unpublished

show me da money

Fiat_Lux
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Fiat_Lux 10/28/09 - 01:34 am
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It's Dr. Shinn, and she was

It's Dr. Shinn, and she was quite merciful to the school system when she really could have nailed them for what they did. Good point about putting people into jobs that were beyond them. Maybe Beden will help move things along from doing things for appearance's sake.

ispy4u
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ispy4u 10/28/09 - 06:20 am
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APEXI.Q.OF24, Same old story

APEXI.Q.OF24, Same old story with theses posts. You siding against Blacks before you know the merits of the case. It would not have made a different to you and they had filed 2 years ago.

hickstreetlane
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hickstreetlane 10/28/09 - 06:51 am
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I dont give one good darn

I dont give one good darn about the DR - DR Larke DR Bedden to heck with that, in front of anyone's name. Shinn is smart, but yes was kind. Shinn was passed over by Larke to put Barnes (female) in place. Daddy Barnes was pleased so he made it nice for Larke and he carries alot of weight on the board. remember the vacation time fiasco. Horse Crap at its finest.

EARL84
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EARL84 10/28/09 - 07:22 am
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BREAKING NEWS: justus4, not a

BREAKING NEWS: justus4, not a fan of the white man.

Fiat_Lux
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Fiat_Lux 10/28/09 - 08:23 am
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The work and accomplishment

The work and accomplishment merit the title and the respect that the title usually inspires, even if you missed the part about showing respect to people. But then, waitresses act like we're old friends and adolescent nurses call me by my Christian name or "sweetie" as a matter of course. Some people just never were taught some of the social niceties and therefore give offence on a regular basis. Pity.

DMac_357
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DMac_357 10/28/09 - 11:36 am
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Apex, I can't see someone's

Apex, I can't see someone's skin color from what they write in their post. You say blacks siding with blacks but what about whites siding with whites? You didn't mention anything about that so maybe I can tell your skin color from your post, huh? This case will turn on whether these two guys can prove that they were promised the next principle positions or whether SOP dictates that open positions are assigned by seniority. The fact that they included race means that the school board would rather have a white person in charge of a predominately white school instead of a black person regardless of seniority and what the SOP states. The ball is now in the court of the school board and then on to the courts to decide. None of us here know all the facts in this case so speculation is meaningless but that's what most of you do best.

soldout
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soldout 10/28/09 - 12:34 pm
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Amen to LCC0256. Private

Amen to LCC0256. Private schools or home school and work ten jobs if it takes that to enable that to happen. When you remove God,Bible reading, prayer and discipline this is what you get and no one should be surprised. A child receiving a free lunch has his or her future in trouble already. The parents don't care so there is little hope for the child or the parent. It is never the color of the skin but the lack of a relationship to Jesus in their lives. More Jesus=less problems; less Jesus=more problems. That math works everytime it is tried.

Dolphinrose505
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Dolphinrose505 10/28/09 - 01:06 pm
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Why can't these 2 men just be

Why can't these 2 men just be happy that they have a job? Eveybody wants something for nothing. This is just rediculous. I've been looking for a job for quite sometime now with no luck and we have people like this that just want to complain.

Fiat_Lux
15897
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Fiat_Lux 10/28/09 - 04:13 pm
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They don't want just to

They don't want just to complain, DRose. They want a payoff from the A-RC taxpayers if they can manage to get it.

FallingLeaves
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FallingLeaves 10/28/09 - 05:51 pm
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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.
Posted by akajenfer on Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:17 PM" Wow, that list of racist slurs sure sounds familiar. Don't feel alone, I was called those and some much more creative and vulgar things, too. When I reported it, I was discounted because I was white and they lied and said I was the one saying things. (I have no idea what I was supposed to have said, because I didn't respond at all. Ever.)

FallingLeaves
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FallingLeaves 10/28/09 - 05:53 pm
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lol earl84.

lol earl84.

hickstreetlane
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hickstreetlane 10/28/09 - 11:12 pm
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Fiat_Lux sayin : Maybe Beden

Fiat_Lux sayin : Maybe Beden will help move things along from doing things for appearance's sake. Fiat_Lux then sayin: Some people just never were taught some of the social niceties and therefore give offence on a regular basis. Pity. Fiat Lux sayin : The work and accomplishment merit the title and the respect that the title usually inspires. I b sayin: IT IS DR. BEDDEN not Beden IF fiatlux are going to worry about Niceties.

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