NAACP says Aiken BOE hasn't met demands

By: Diane Cho
By: Diane Cho

On May 9, during a heated meeting, the NAACP gave the Aiken County School Board 14 days to respond to their list of demands.

The group claimed the school board made unfair promotions.

On May 26, NAACP leaders said the board has not met those demands.

NAACP leaders say their list of demands they gave to board members earlier this month and the May 24 deadline to respond were denounced and the board has shown a lack of concerns to their issues regarding unfair hiring practices.

The energy in the room picked up right where it left off after the heated Aiken County Board of Education meeting earlier in the month.

"This time, excuse my French, I'll be damned if I back down," said Aiken NAACP president Rev. David Walker. Rev. Walker even went as far as calling for the resignation of both the superintendent and the board chairman.

"The superintendent is the puppet of the board chair and so are other board members, and two, because of her attitude, vindictiveness and attempt at intimidating people," Rev. Walker said.

Rev. Walker was referring to the recent resignation of a long-time top African American administrator, Frank Roberson. He says Roberson was forced out of the school system.

"He didn't believe race was a factor, but if you took away half my budget and half my personnel then there's more to it than me," Rev. Walker said.

"He felt his integrity, position was jeopardized, and would've done what any employee would have done in a hostile environment."

None of the board members were at the NAACP news conference. When News 12 informed board chair John Bradley of Rev. Walker's request, he had this to say:

"I'm elected to office every four years. If they're not satisfied they can fire me. As far as I know, Rev. Walker has not been elected to public office. Who's he accountable to?"

This all comes after the NAACP accused the board chairman and the superintendent of unfairly hiring three assistant superintendents based on race.

Rosemary English, the only black board member in Aiken County believes it's not necessarily a black and white issue.

"Just no equality in what's being done," she says.

News 12 did try and contact superintendent Linda Eldridge, but we were unable to.

At last night's board meeting, Rosemary English told News 12 that she was the only vote opposing the superintendent's one-year extension to her contract.


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