Elementary school students racially profiled in Flagler County (includes video story)

Parents of Black children at a Florida elementary school are rattled and upset after the school called an assembly based on race. Parents say their children were then targeted for underperforming on standardized tests. 

Staff at Bunnel Elementary in Central Florida called only Black fourth and fifth graders into the assembly where they then showed a slideshow presentation. The first page was entitled “The Problem.” 

The presentation claimed that African American students have underperformed on standardized assessments for the past three years and that only 32 percent are at level 3 or higher on the standardized testing scale. Another page entitled “The Solution” stated that each student would commit to earning at least a level 3 or higher on all standardized assessments, promising fast food as a reward. 

“[I asked ] my daughter, ‘How does it make you feel?’” said Jacinda Arrington, a parent at the school. “[She said], ‘I feel like I am not good enough’ and that is infuriating.” 

Flagler County School’s Interim Superintendent Lashaika Moore issued a formal public apology soon after the incident and released a statement that reads, in part, “It is clear there was no malice intended … and that while the desire to help is to be commended… how this was done does not meet expectations.”

The school principal and a teacher have been put on administrative leave and the district pledges to include parents in all decisions regarding school assemblies moving forward. 

Hawah Ezell is a senior digital broadcasting student with a concentration in criminal justice. She is passionate about social justice and human rights. She plans on pursuing a career in multi-media journalism where she intends to give a voice to the voiceless.