Ashford, AL– The Ashford High School teachers who organized and formed a racist group that was ran on and during school hours, calling themselves the “Bad A* B*’s”, targeting black and LGBTQ students were only given a ten day suspension without pay for their actions.
Kim Worsham, Tambria Mccardle, Hannah Kirkland, Julee Summerford Lasseter and two other teachers, whose identities are still being hidden are the teachers who created and everyday made the conscious decision to involve themselves in this group that not only targets minority students but degrades students parents, and threatens violence.
Julee Summerford Lasseter can be seen in a almost thirty second clip spewing a racial statement that said, “That N**** so slow he can’t walk and chew gum.”
While Tambria Mccardle can be seen insulting the intelligence of one of the students by stating she uses mime to communicate, she proceeds to call one of the students parents “stupid,” and threatens to B**** slap someone with the initials of RK.
The Houston County School Board whose members consist of Marty Collins, Gary Cox, Ricky Moore, Scott Thomas, Vince Wade, David Hollinger, and one of the teachers involved husband Chris Lasseter, who recused himself, returned a five to one vote on the ten day suspension that was recommended by the school board superintendent David Sewell.
One students parent stated, “We thought that they were going to get fired, but they didn’t get that, so it’s like a slap on the wrist to me.”
David Sewell who is currently running for re-election as superintendent stated firing the teachers was never on the table after confirming he spoke with several Alabama Education lawyers and the AEA (Alabama Education Association).
Several citizens voiced their concerns about the school boards decision to send the teachers back into the classrooms after they have created a hostile and systemically discriminatory environment for students.
Students have a constitutional right to go to school and learn in peace without the fear of knowing whether or not teachers who have blatantly shown they do not have whats best for them at heart singling them out and making them a target of their oppressive system. They should not have to go to school terrified and wondering are they targeting me, are they sending out memos that’ll lead to discrimination against me, are they calling me the “N” word, are they targeting me because I’m a part of the LGBTQ community?
Others have made their disgust with the teachers and the school board known by stating the actions that have been taken did not have the best interest or rights of any of the students in sight while superintendent David Sewell repeatedly said he was being sure not to violate the “teachers” rights, never once mentioning protecting the “students” rights.
Local leader Pastor John Whitehurst of K.B.I Christian Church also made a statement towards this unfathomable occurrence stating,” This Shocks the conscience. This is not only offensive to the parents of students in Ashford, AL and Houston County but this offends notions of judicial fairness. This is offensive to human dignity.”
In such a short clip these six teachers have exuded behavior that is unbecoming of them. They are entrusted with the lives of our students everyday and should be there to build them up, instead they’ve created a group that is designated to completely tear them down.
After all of the delays, closed door meetings, and push back from the board citizens are wondering how did we get here? Did the school board take the time to conduct a thorough investigation into the rest of the messages that are inside of this group, did they take the time to question these teachers as to what is the purpose of this group, how does suspending the teachers for ten days without pay not balance out the ten days that they have been suspended with pay, and how do we go from a group of six teachers being involved to only three receiving punishment?