NAACP blames board for lack of minority staff in Bruns. Co. schools

Reported by Laura Sinacori - bio|email
Posted by Kristy Ondo - email

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Members of the NAACP in Brunswick County are saying the numbers don't add up when it comes to the diversity of staff in county schools.

Monday, several members of the organization said they have tried to voice their concerns about a lack of diversity to school administrators for years but haven't seen any action.

"The NAACP will not, cannot, and as long as we are active will not allow this to happen," said NAACP member Bernest Hewett.

He and other members of the NAACP claim the Brunswick County school board members are not following proper procedures when it comes to hiring and promoting minority teachers.

"We address the problem, they say it will be taken care of, but it has been ignored," said Hewett.  "Nothing has been done. The situation has not gotten better."

The group called the Department of Justice to get answers. School administrators said a representative from the Justice Department came to town Thursday to look into the NAACP's claims.

"It truly is a surprise," said Terry Chestnutt, the assistant superintendent for human resources. "It's unfortunate; we feel very good about the efforts and all the programs and all the strategies that we have in place for the employees of the minority community to be employees of Brunswick County Schools."

Chestnutt added that the strategies he referred to involve recruiting from minority universities and a fast track program that enables teachers' assistants to go back to school and become teachers.

"We've made every effort possible to encourage minorities to be in our system," said Chestnutt.

Members of the NAACP disagree, saying they hope attention from the Justice Department will help increase the number of minorities working in local schools.

©2009 WECT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.