Georgia NAACP: Dublin school board member possibly violated accreditation agency’s standards
The civil rights group says the board member is Perry’s husband. It believes he was there to intimidate the parents who complained about the teacher’s comments.
Superintendent Dr. Chuck Ledbetter confirmed with 41NBC a board member attended that meeting, but would not give the board member’s name. He adds this is a practice the district does not allow.
“A board member being in a parent-teacher conference can tip the balance, or at least from the appearance, it tips the balance of fairness,” Ledbetter said. “And having our board make it very clear to all of the board members that that’s something that we don’t do.”
The Georgia NAACP said in a statement, according to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ accreditation standards a board members are not allowed to be involved with the school district’s day-to-day operations.
To be clear, the group says the issue is not with Perry’s First Amendment rights to express her “extreme political opinions.” It states it would defend her right to free speech as a private citizen, but “that is not appropriate for the classroom.”
According to the Georgia NAACP, it plans to meet with Ledbetter next week and possibly make a formal complaint with the accreditation agency.
Ledbetter tells 41NBC the incident happened three weeks ago. According to the Dublin-Laurens NAACP, Perry told her students the president is not a Christian and any of their parents who support him is not a Christian. She then challenged her students to prove their Christianity.
Ledbetter says school officials met with Perry and talked about what is appropriate to say in a classroom. He says the district handled the situation so it won’t happen again.
Perry is still teaching at Dublin Middle School. She told 41NBC what has been reported is “untrue” and calls this an “unfortunate issue.”
Read the full statement from the Georgia NAACP below:
“The Georgia NAACP is deeply concerned about the incident involving Nancy Perry, a teacher, and Bill Perry, a conservative radio host and member of that school board. Beyond the inappropriate remarks about the legitimacy of the faith of the President of the United States; the interference by Mr. Perry, a member of the Board of Education, in a teacher-parent conference violates SACS standards” said Francys Johnson, Statesboro Attorney and State President of the Georgia NAACP.
School Districts in Metro Atlanta including Clayton and DeKalb County have jeopardized their accreditation with similar interference in school operations by members of the governing board. SACS accreditation standards define ‘micromanagement’ as used to describe a Board Member that becomes involved in the day-to-day operations of the school district rather than setting direction through goals and policies and letting the administration determine how to accomplish the goals.”
“This is not about Mrs. Perry’s First Amendment rights to express her extreme political opinions. The NAACP would defend Mrs. Perry’s right as a private citizen to free speech. However, that is not appropriate for the classroom. That plus the menacing presence of her husband in the meeting with parent-teacher conference was designed for one purpose alone – to intidimate those parents” said Francys Johnson, Statesboro Attorney and State President of the Georgia NAACP.
The Georgia NAACP plans to meet with Superintendent next week. If we are not satisfied with the response then we may consider making a formal compliant to SACS or other actions.