Florida Elementary School Principal Placed On Administrative Leave After Hosting Assembly w/Only Black Students, Telling Them They Faced Jail Or Death If Test Scores Don’t Improve
The Florida education system is once again under fire for its treatment of Black students.
Bunnell Elementary principal Donelle Evensen was placed on administrative leave recently after reportedly singling out Black students for low test scores.
Reportedly, Evensen hosted an unauthorized assembly to address low test scores among 4th and 5th graders, but included Black ones. The principal, who reportedly took the helm in July, required all Black students to attend the session despite whether or not individually they have been performing well. In her powerpoint, Evensen seemingly suggested the middle schoolers were responsible for the schools low testing average, writing on one slide:
“AA (African Americans) have underperform on standardized assessment for the last past 3 years. We only have 32% of our students who are at a Level 3 or higher for ELA/Math. We are supposed to have at least 41%.”
Additionally, parents of the students reported that the principal told the children that people with low scores don’t become successful, and typically end up dead or in jail. In a feeble attempt to motivate the children to do better, Evensen reportedly promised to reward them with gifts of McDonald’s or Chick-Fil-A. However, parents didn’t appreciate their children being targeted in the assembly at all, and slammed the principal for the racial implications. One parent reportedly stated:
“It became racial for me when they included and boxed all of the Black children together no matter if they were below average, average or above average,”
While another added:
“Two races were divided. White and Black. You left the white children to continue their education, and the Black children had to go out to be talked about the consequences of not being successful,”
Reportedly, the Flagler county school has 227 black students and 696 whites among its 1,168 students. It’s additionally noted that the institution was given an overall C grade by the Florida Department of Education last year. Following outrage over the incident, the schools interim superintendent LaShakia Moore held a press conference, condemning the assembly for taking place, and clarifying that she doesn’t feel the action was done in malice. She reportedly released a statement that read:
“‘I’ve had the opportunity to sit down with Bunnell Elementary Principal Donelle Evensen following an assembly of 4th and 5th-grade students. We have been able to talk about what led to this assembly and steps that were or were not taken before or after it.”
“In speaking with Mrs. Evensen, it is clear there was no malice intended in planning this student outreach. However, sometimes, when you try to think “outside the box”, you forget why the box is there.”
During a subsequent interview, Moore reportedly added that while the gathering “should not have happened”, it did and revealed that Evensen and another teacher involved was placed on paid leave while they continue to investigate. The racially charge incident comes amid Florida Governor Ron DeSantis‘ continued education legislation targeting Black students. As we’ve previously covered, the government official caught serious backlash earlier this year after approving a Black history standard that suggested slaves benefited from slavery because it taught them personal skills.
DeSantis‘ continued “anti-woke” efforts have inspired several organization to protest doing business with the city. Most recently, Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity pulled their million dollar conference from the Sunshine state in light of the governors offensive laws. However, it’s noted in the report that the County School Board Chair Cheryl Massaro doesn’t believe DeSantis had a role on what happened at Bunnell Elementary, solely placing blame on the school. She reportedly stated:
“It wasn’t a great idea…It’s sad that it was segregated by race because that’s not fair, but that’s what happened.”
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