DOCUMENT: Fail, K-12

Class Officers Segregated By Race

Mississippi school divides posts into black, white seats

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Nettleton Middle School


AUGUST 26--Children running for class officer posts at a Mississippi public school are only allowed to compete for certain positions based on their race, according to a memo handed out last week to students.

The Nettleton Middle School elections are divided between offices pegged for black and white students, according to the memo, which was provided to TSG by a parent. The document was handed out to every student in the school’s sixth, seventh, and eighth grades, and it details the race requirements for each of four class officer spots (president, vice president, secretary-treasurer, and reporter).

Of the 12 offices for which students compete, eight are earmarked for white students (including the three class president spots), while four are termed “black” seats. Middle school administrators have not returned TSG phone calls, so it is unclear how this policy was established, or whether the number of offices apportioned for each race changes annually. Additionally, it is unknown how children who are not black or white would run for student government offices.

Students seeking class office were directed to return their election applications, complete with the petition signatures of 10 classmates, to science teacher Jenny Payne by August 24. The Nettleton middle school has about 400 students, and about 72 percent are white, according to a source familiar with the school board's operation. The majority of the remaining students are black.

The city of Nettleton has a population of 2013 and is located 15 miles south of Tupelo, the birthplace of Elvis Presley. The middle school’s policy was first reported this week by Suzy Richardson, who operates Mixed and Happy, a blog about mixed-race families. (1 page)

[UPDATE: The Nettleton school superintendent, Russell Taylor, tonight posted a statement on the district’s web site announcing a review of the “processes, historical applications, compliance issues, as well as current implications and ramifications” of the student election system.]

[UPDATE II: The Nettleton school board today (August 27) voted unanimously to overhaul election rules so that “beginning immediately, student elections at Nettleton School District will no longer have a classification of ethnicity.” In a statement, superintendent Russell Taylor acknowledged that the school system is “growing in ethnic diversity and that the classifications of Caucasian and African-American no longer reflect our entire student body.” Future elections, he added, “will be monitored to help ensure that this change in process and procedure does not adversely affect minority representation in student elections.”]

Comments (37)

Thanks for the pot,They're colors (or at least are considered to be colors for simple purposes). I like it. online logo design banner design web banners
I believe that "genious are made,not born"...the gene is not responsible for being capable or there is useless to segregate ballot in white and black category....
I know I'm responding way late, but I want to say this in particular to ldgoad. I was in a private high school with only 30 - 40 people in our Freshman class (9th grade). We had maybe 3 black students but elected 1 as our student council representative. (He was a great speaker.) Also, this nation has a black president, even though we are mostly white.
Absolutely the right thing to do is to remove all implications of race from the ballot and voting system. However, because the school population is 72% white, it is now more likely that all positions will be filled by white candidates just based on the middle school popularity contest.
The black culture has destroyed this country and the economy. God Bless us all.
It also destroyed the public school system as we knew it before 1964, due to tribalistic violence and anti-White racism. Sad, but everything that the segregationists said would happen if de-segregation occurred, did. We need another revolution.
How exactly would these children write on a black ballot, Tav? Were they handing out white-out or white crayons with the ballots? Do you even think about the crap that comes out of your keyboard.
Tav, seriously? Did you take the little bus to school? We kindly request that you no longer participate in any election. Be in school or otherwise. Why would there be any designation of color? Why would they review their voting and election process? Obviously it was about race and not ballot color. If that were the case wouldn't they have made a statement to that effect? Ok sixth grade you can use the white ballot for everything but reporter, seventh you can use the white ballot for everything but treasurer and 8th grade you use the white ballot for everything except vice president and reporter. Does that make any kind of sorting or filing sense?
It's not only about race, it's about stupid. They are educators with college degrees and stupid enough for a policy like this. I weep for the future.
Funny how these internet comment arcs on anything involving race always develop in the same way. First, assume affirmative action and blame black people (whites = victims of A.A.). Then, when that’s proven to be beyond stupid, argue that it has nothing whatsoever to do with race and it’s all a big misunderstanding (whites = victims of racism misunderstanding that doesn’t really exist). Then, when that too is revealed as total BS try to diminish the whole situation and call it an overreaction by blacks (whites = victims of, oh hell, I don’t know, something, something, something, liberal media). And finally, when all the other rationalizations and dodges have been used up, start crying about how people who point out racism are the reeeeeaaallll racists. All this whiny victimhood is ridiculous. Man up, you pathetic pussies, you’re embarrassing our race with your bitch behavior.
Tav, I just want to be clear on what your point is, because I'm pretty baffled. The rest of the handbook explicitly says "black girl" and "white girl." Another poster here says that he went to the high school and based on his experience the policy is to segregate the class offices to those for whites and those for blacks. A witness quoted by MSNBC says that this policy was explicitly explained to her. You don't even doubt that this is true. But, you're hung up because in your mind the terms black and white aren't races; they're only colors. Am I understanding you? And you're now waiting until someone (and you appear to think that someone is me) travels back in time and adds to this handout very clear written instructions that include anthropological terms of your choosing. And now despite the witnesses, the context, the implications, the precedence, the clear verbal instructions that accompanied it, and the historical precedence for the use of the terms white and black, you're going to dismiss the merits of this article? Have I got all that right?
I guess it's not only dead people who only see what they want to see. Tav, you asked for someone to clear things up. I did. What's your gripe now? That the instructions that list White and Black next to the class positions aren't explicit enough for you? I didn't write the instruction sheet. I didn't write the school policy handbook. I don't even work for The Smoking Gun, but in about 5 minutes of web searching I've given you enough evidence that should have removed doubt from the most stubborn. I guess next you'll be onto the story about the Iowa State Fair claiming that the 40 black teens must have been searching for the FBI's Most Wanted Fugitive Whitey Bulger. Got anything on that?
Yeah, killshot, still waiting on the voting instructions that mention race. I'm not saying that you're wrong at all. I'm saying that the article is specifically about so-called racial voting instructions, but there's nothing in the instructions about race. "Black" and "white" aren't races. They're colors (or at least are considered to be colors for simple purposes).
Court mandated or not, it's still ludicrous. White or black? What about Hispanic? Asian? Still a$$ backwards logic/reasoning that needs to be vanquished.
If the people from this site actually did some research we could save everyone the trouble of reading this crap. I'm from nettleton. I went to Nettleton High School and that policy is a court ordered policy made several years ago. The Position rotates every year. Next year it will be 12 officers will be "black" and only four for white. To many racist in this world who jump to conclusion don't you guys have anything better to do than to run down the south?
Jordanld, You are so right in your comments. Someone should have looked into the facts surrounding this issue. Back in 1969, as Nettleton intergrated our schools, a group of diverse citizens came up with this plan in order to insure participation of all. This plan, based upon race, was approved by the courts and I think possibly by the Justice Department. As vice president of the Student Council during the school year of 1975, we were troubled by the "Who's Who Elections" which were also on a rotation basis. There was one young girl who was an African American and deserved to be considered for a particular slot (if memory serves me it was the slot of Most Popular) but the problem was it was not a year that was slated for an African American to be considered for this honor. Our Student Council voted unanimously to do away with this practice but the courts would not consider abolishing the program. We then re-grouped and asked if there could be Who's Who slots for blacks and Who's Who slots for whites. The Federal Courts had allowed this to occur in other districts and they agreed to this for Nettleton. Of course, while this was acceptable back in the mid 1970's, in todays more diverse student population, one just can't continue with this practice. I am glad to see that the courts have now agreed to allow the Nettleton School District to have student elections on the character of the student and not on race.
@Jordanld: It's not the people who are "jumping to conclusions" who are racist, it's the judge who mandated such stupidity who's racist...
your correct. I agree the court order needs to be changed.
Umm for those posting that listing Black and White has nothing to do with race, you may want to check these out. The first link contains first-hand postings by a mother whose white daughter was denied admission into the race for Class Reporter because it was for blacks only and it was suggested that she run for Class President because that's for whites. See The mother lists the page in the class handbook which has since been pulled from the Nettleton school web site. Fortunately, another site has scans from the handbook that includes rules for the races of homecoming maids, too. See And for those who like to post without actually clicking on links and reading, I quote "There will be one white and one black girl nominated from each homeroom... The top three white and top three black girls... one white and one black homecoming queen." And for those who doubt the veracity of blogs, how about this in-depth report by MSNBC that includes an even larger scan from the student handbook.
Hey Killshot that mother's daughter was not black she wasn't even mixed. And her children just were given back to her by DHS. The only connection she has with African Americans is that she is living with a black man. ALL her children are white.
What mother are you referring to? The one I referred to when I said "a mother whose white daughter...?" I guess "white daughter" wasn't clear enough. And then you launch into an attack on this woman's parenting without anything to back it up? Even if your allegations were true, what on earth does that have to do with a district policy that limits class officers to specific races which you just finished saying was an absolute fact based on your own experience attending Nettleton High School? Hey, I guess if you can't defend the policy, you can at least throw some mud. Stay classy!
Unfortunately, Killshot, NONE of that was in the story. And there's NOTHING about race on that ballot instruction sheet. Got anything on that?
I know this was said early on but ...... THERE'S NOTHING THAT SAYS THE "BLACK" AND "WHITE" REFER TO RACE !!! Do you think a school, even in Mississippi, would be stupid enough to let something like this slide? "Hey, I've got an idea, why don't we make sure each class President is white and only SOME of the other offices are black? And screw that Asian kid". Come on people, it's 2010. If this were true, it would be all over the place, not just here.
Usually, shmoosually. Usually when there is discrimination against someone for the color of their skin, it's because the person is black. I won't suggest that racism or discrimination exists only in one direction, but if you're going to excuse your laziness as justified based on precedence, shouldn't you have jumped to the conclusion that this was another example of blacks being discriminated against by the white majority? If you had, you'd still be lazy and prejudiced, but at least you'd have been right. There's no justification for assumptions based on race and your post only highlights the problem; it doesn't mitigate it.
Are any of you idiots even reading the article? If so, I guess you need to brush up on your comprehension skills. This has NOTHING to do with affirmative action. Oye.
I haven't seen anything in the instructions about race. For all we can tell, the "black" and "white" designations refer to the ballot color, which COULD mean that different classes could only vote for certain positions. How about someone clearing things up a bit? Any actual journalists around?
This is fascinating. First because I can't believe that anyone in their right mind could have thought to create such a policy let alone put it into action. And second for all the posters who didn't bother to actually click on the link, just assumed that this was a case of affirmative action, and then posted their ignorance.
Well, usually when this type of crap happens it's to 'rig' it so the blacks win. Take gerrymandering congressional districts to elect a black - rigging the process toward blacks. Look up Bobby Scott in Virginia.
Since when is intelligence a requirement to be president?
Is this the same as the White firemen who couldn't win a promotion because they weren't BLACK ? Even though they were smarter than the blacks, according to test scores.
If blacks can't compete and win based upon their own merits (and not race), then they should lose. For god's sake - this is exactly the same as set asides for white kids ignoring blacks. I guess discrimination against the YT debbil is come full circle and is acceptable. Hmmm, wonder what ol' Martin Luther would say 'bout that?
Hoosier - Martin Luther was the founder of the Lutheran church in Germany in the 1500s. When you're trying to sound intellectually superior, you should at the very least correctly name who you're invoking. I can only assume you meant Martin Luther King Jr., who is a completely different person. Further, it's not about affirmative action, they're specifically restricting what positions the kids can run for based on their race. Your comment shows a lack of compassion, understanding, and frankly common sense, not to mention a healthy dose of intolerance. Go post on some hate forum instead. You'll look smarter.
Obviously being White doesn't come with increased reading comprehension skills. The school sets aside two thirds of the positions including all the top ones FOR WHITES. It doesn't permit Black children to even apply for them.
Also, on the surface, this does not seem at all fair. What about children of other races who are not black or white? On the surface and beneath, it's a terrible policy rooted in discrimination.
Thanks to TSG for posting this. So many of us still cannot believe this is happening today! What a message to send our children. Horrible.
Hey, Michelle Obama got a "set aside" for Princeton, so why shouldn't little black children??
On the surface....its seems they are trying to be fair, because based on numbers, only the white students will win. I guess they did not want another black president though.