ASHFORD, Ala. (WDHN) — Last month, messages between several Ashford High School teachers circulated throughout the community, talking about students’ sex lives, a student’s gender identity, and included the use of a racial slur against a former student.
The leaked messages left both students and parents at the school furious.
“This is a big slap in the face,” Ashford student Michael Johnson said.
“I don’t like this school, period,” said former Ashford student Preyun Snell, the student who was referred by the n-word. “They racist; all of these folks racist.”
“A lot of y’all need to clean house with these teachers and get rid of them,” Preyun’s Aunt Venissa Wilson said.
Now, one local civil rights organization is getting involved.
“The NAACP was contacted by one of the parents, who asked us to get involved,” said Franklin Jones, past president of the Dothan Wiregrass NAACP. “We were concerned and wanted to be involved simply because the NAACP always wants to be on the side of right, and that’s our concern right now is for our children and our parents.”
As for right now, the NAACP’s main concern is what happens for the students going forward.
“We are waiting to see what the principal first recommends to the superintendent, what the superintendent will then recommend to the school board, who has the ultimate power to make the final decision of what will come of this situation,” Jones said.
Jones said that if the county system has a code of conduct for teachers, it needs to adhere to its written policy.
“If there is no policy, this is an excellent time to create a policy so this kind of thing does not happen again,” he said. “Or if it does, then one can know what to expect the consequences, the outcome of their behavior could be, and the public needs to know that also.”
When asked what potential action the group could take, Franklin said that right now, the NAACP is going to keep its plans to itself because what it will do will depend on what the school system does.