African American children ordered to give up seats to White Children! - U2 Feedback

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Old 08-24-2006, 11:03 AM   #1
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African American children ordered to give up seats to White Children!

http://www.shreveporttimes.com/apps/...0332/1002/NEWS

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Black students ordered to give up seats to white children
Status of Red River Parish bus driver is unknown.
August 24, 2006

By Vickie Welborn
vwelborn@gannett.com

COUSHATTA -- Nine black children attending Red River Elementary School were directed last week to the back of the school bus by a white driver who designated the front seats for white children.

The situation has outraged relatives of the black children who have filed a complaint with school officials.


Superintendent Kay Easley will meet with the family members in her office this morning.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People also is considering filing a formal charge with the U.S. Department of Justice. NAACP District Vice President James Panell, of Shreveport, said he would apprise Justice attorneys of the situation this week. He's considering asking for an investigation into the bus incident and other aspects of the school system's operations, including pupil-teacher ratio as it relates to the numbers of white and black children, along with a breakdown of the numbers of black and white teachers employed.

"If the smoke is there, then there's probably fire somewhere else," Panell said in a phone interview from New Orleans. "At this point, it is extremely alarming. We fought that battle 50 years ago, and we won. Why is this happening again?"

Easley would not comment much on the allegations Wednesday, saying it is a personnel issue. She acknowledged that she has investigated the claim. And she confirmed that the bus driver did not run her route Wednesday, nor would she today.

Asked if the driver would work for the rest of the year, Easley said, "I'm not going to answer the questions. "» You're getting all that you're going to get from me. I'm sorry."

Red River Elementary School Principal Jamie Lawrence tried to rectify the seating situation when it was brought to her attention. But it was ultimately handled at the Central Office, Patricia Sessoms said.

Sessoms aunt, Iva Richmond, is the mother of two of the children, ages 14 and 15, and foster parent to three others, ages 5, 6 and 10. Janice Williams, who is the mother of the other four children, is Richmond's neighbor. All nine children catch the bus at a stop on Ashland Road.

Sessoms will join Richmond and Williams in their meeting with Easley today. Sessoms said they would ask for bus driver Delores Davis' immediate termination. Davis, who originates her bus route in Martin, has called Richmond to apologize, Sessoms said. A message left on Davis' answering machine late Wednesday afternoon was not immediately returned.

After Richmond and Williams filed complaints with the School Board, Transportation Supervisor Jerry Carlisle asked Davis to make seat assignments for her passengers, Sessoms said.

"But she still assigned the black children to the back of the bus," she added.

And the nine children had to share only two seats, meaning the older children had to hold the younger ones in their laps.

A new solution reached Monday by School Board officials has a black bus driver driving across town to pick up the nine black children.

"I think the whole school system needs to be reviewed in Red River Parish," Sessoms said.

Sessoms, who has two children at Red River Elementary, said she has no problems with her bus driver. "I have a wonderful bus driver," she added. Sessoms' request to have her young children sit near the front because of their ages was granted.

School Board member Gene Longino said Wednesday evening that he had not heard about the situation involving the nine children.

"I don't know anything about that. "» Until something formally comes to the School Board members through the superintendent, we don't know the details," Longino said.

School Board President Ricky Cannon was at work Wednesday evening and unavailable for comment. Board member J.B. McElwee also was not at home. Calls to the homes of Cleve Miller, Kassandria Wells White, Karen Womack and Jessie Webber were not answered.
Since when did we revert back to the 1950's??
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Old 08-24-2006, 07:26 PM   #2
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I knew there were people out there who would love to get society to revert back to the '50s, but I'm still shocked someone would have the gall to do something like this.
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Old 08-24-2006, 09:04 PM   #3
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Disgusting.
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Old 08-25-2006, 05:31 AM   #4
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Oh. My. God.

I'm stunned.
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Old 08-25-2006, 04:37 PM   #5
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Those poor kids, that treatment is just wrong!!!
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Old 08-26-2006, 06:12 PM   #6
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We are clearly heading back towards the 19th century in so many oother areas of American life--from dirty little colonial adventures like Iraq, to corrupt elections where thousands are disenfranchised, deprived of the right to vote and left powerless (though to be fair to the 1800's, this tended to happen at the local and state level, not the national ojne--so we're actually worse off there; to epidemic disease (note the diptheria mini-epidemic in Illinois after people refused to get thier kids vaccinated); to yelow journalism (both offline and on),

So this comes as absolutely no surprise to me. Id everyone who has been guilty of all this crap has been allowed to get away with it, if we don't stand up for our rights, people will get the hint and test their newfound freedom to be messengers of hate and discord. Bravo, America.....
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Old 08-26-2006, 08:50 PM   #7
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keep the blacks in the ghetto and out of our buses!!
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Old 08-27-2006, 10:50 AM   #8
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People are still told to go to the back of the bus in 2006 in so many ways that are not as overt and blatant as what this bus driver did.
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Old 08-27-2006, 09:55 PM   #9
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This is disgusting, disturbing and wrong. The bus driver is hopefully already dismissed. The district also had better have made public and personal apologies to the family of the black student's families who should be rightfully allowed to sue the district.

I lived in Huntsville when George Wallace was governor in the early 60's (yea I admit I'm old) during a time when segragation still existed. People I talk to about this cannot believe when I say things like this happened on a daily basis. We weren't allowed to play with blacks, they sat in the back of the bus, in the back of the theatres, had their own water fountains and stood at the backs of the lines. Our Apt. management advised we were not to speak to the black groundskeepers and they were not to speak to the white folks. These things were actually taught in the elementary school I attended for 3 years. I will never forget these times. I knew then they were not right. My family was glad to finally get back to California when my father's job transferred him again. It took me 2 years to get caught up in school since the educational system was obviously so far behind in the state of Alabama.

We needed Bono and COEXIST's messages back in those times.
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Old 08-29-2006, 03:54 PM   #10
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I was disgusted.......

but i have been told by people living in the South {both by African-Americans and empathetic whites that in some parts of the mored rural south......there are still even sperate dorrs and waterfountains.........
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Old 08-29-2006, 05:29 PM   #11
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I can't believe those things are still happening. that's really awfull
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Old 08-29-2006, 10:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by OceanGirl
Oh. My. God.

I'm stunned.
Racism isn't THAT uncommon.
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Old 08-30-2006, 10:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by dazzledbylight

but i have been told by people living in the South {both by African-Americans and empathetic whites that in some parts of the mored rural south......there are still even sperate dorrs and waterfountains.........
Are you serious? I have lived here for 33 years and I have not seen this. Although I live in a large metropolitan area, I do travel through rural areas of the South quite frequently and have not seen the seperate doors and water fountains, but I would like to know where they are because it needs to be exposed and addressed.

~U2Alabama
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Old 08-31-2006, 02:16 AM   #14
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Originally posted by U2Bama


Are you serious? I have lived here for 33 years and I have not seen this. Although I live in a large metropolitan area, I do travel through rural areas of the South quite frequently and have not seen the seperate doors and water fountains, but I would like to know where they are because it needs to be exposed and addressed.

~U2Alabama
They are there, but only to show historical context. They aren't still being used, the few that still exist don't work and have a plaque explaining the historical context. There was controversy in Dallas over a waterfountain still existing because many felt like the plaque and explanation didn't do it justice.
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Old 08-31-2006, 06:47 AM   #15
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Doesn't really sound like that's what dazzledbylight was describing, though? ... but at any rate, I never saw anything like that, either.

This whole bus story is really strange--the school board has temporarily suspended the driver, but the parents have yet to receive any explanation from the school board as to why she did it, other than "she says she was simply following the established seating chart, not trying to segregate by race, and we can't tell you any more than that due to confidentiality laws." Which besides being a non-answer, also contradicts that
Quote:
[a]fter Richmond and Williams filed complaints with the School Board, Transportation Supervisor Jerry Carlisle asked Davis to make seat assignments for her passengers, Sessoms said. "But she still assigned the black children to the back of the bus," she added. And the nine children had to share only two seats, meaning the older children had to hold the younger ones in their laps.
Of course it's good that they've taken some action against the driver, but if it were my kids, I'd sure want more of an explanation than that to give them as to why this happened.
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