Whiteville City Schools Board Chair found guilty in assault case, NAACP calls for resignation
WHITEVILLE, N.C. (WECT) - Whiteville City Schools Board of Education Chair Kandle Rogers has been found guilty of misdemeanor assault, according to District Attorney Jon David.
According to David, the case was referred to a special prosecutor with the Conference of District Attorneys. A special district court judge was also asked to preside over the matter by the chief district court judge.
In August, Rogers had been accused of assaulting a city public works employee by grabbing the employee’s arm, causing scratches.
The Southern Coalition for Social Justice, on behalf of the North Carolina and Columbus County NAACP, shared the following statement:
“The Columbus County NAACP and North Carolina Statewide NAACP is calling for Whiteville City Schools Board of Education Chair Kandle Rogers to resign after a district court found her guilty of assaulting a government employee and calling him a racial slur while he was on the job in late August.”
Citing local media outlets, the NAACP release states that Rogers “threatened [the city employee’s] arrest while touting her powerful position” and used a racial slur toward them.
“Rogers was ultimately given a 60-day suspended sentence, instructed to perform 20 hours community service, and ordered to pay court costs, though her defense attorney has filed an appeal,” the NAACP statement continues. “She has served as the chair of Whiteville City Schools Board of Education since 2020, when she was voted 3-2 by the Board to replace Coleman Barbour.
“She previously served in the position before Barbour replaced her in December 2016. Columbus County has been marred by inappropriate election official behavior previously — faced with removal proceedings, Jody Greene resigned as sheriff of the county following allegations of racism, politically motivated arrests and other misdeeds while in office.”
WECT reached out to Rogers on Tuesday, asking if she was appealing the conviction or sentence. Rogers responded “No comment.”
Curtis Hill, president of the NAACP in Columbus County, said they are looking for more than a 60 day suspension. Hill said the NAACP wants Rogers completely removed from the school board. Hill also said that Rogers’ actions are not the kind of example they want to set for Columbus County students.
“The NAACP believes that her actions were truly inappropriate, given the backdrop of what’s going on, or what we’ve just come out of in Columbus County. And also thinking about what was going on, as we tried to build it better, stronger Columbus County,” said Hill.
He said they want the school board to look into more diverse and inclusive options for people who work on the board and in the schools. He said the NAACP’s request for more diversity and inclusion has not been heard yet.
“This is the kind of behavior which just cannot be tolerated anymore in our county. And we understand that the judicial process has run its course and we felt this was the right time to, to make a statement about it. Because we want to make sure that Columbus County and our kids are getting the best education possible,” said Hill.
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