-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	[NPHC] Fwd: [sistersingreekdom] Black students ordered to give 
up seats to white children - Shrevport
Date: 	Thu, 24 Aug 2006 09:37:31 -0500
From: 	Brooks <[log in to unmask]>

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: *Deirdra *

*This is alarming.*
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
[log in to unmask] 

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. 

 Tracey de Morsella
The Multicultural Advantage
Phone: 888-750-6132
Email: tdemorsella AT
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