June 17, 2020 at 5:41 AM EDT – Updated June 17 at 5:51 AM
PENDER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) – Saying that someone has to speak up for the children in the community, protesters addressed members of the Pender County Board of Education Tuesday night. Their concern is over an independent investigation into an allegation of a racial slur being used by a teacher.
The Pender NAACP has called for the resignation of Superintendent Dr. Steven Hill for a lack of urgency into the matter, citing a post on social media that shows email communication as early as last October into the subject. Just last week, the school system announced the hiring of an outside law firm to independently investigate. The board has also asked the federal Office for Civil Rights to assist.
The meeting discussion got a late start after a debate about who would be allowed into the public meeting. During the coronavirus pandemic, governmental bodies have been limiting attendance to be in line with state regulations for mass gatherings. The sheriff got involved and after a 45 minute delay, the meeting proceeded with all speakers being allowed inside.
Twelve speakers voiced their frustration Tuesday with how the school board has handled the situation. Board Chairman Don Hall said everything will be handled appropriately after the investigation.
“We operate off of facts, not Facebook,” Chairman Don Hall said. “So once our investigation is done, if there is action that needs to be taken, there will be the appropriate action. If not, there won’t.”
Hall said the board learned of the allegations right when everybody else did after the post made its rounds on Facebook, but it’s out of their hands now. Hall said he rejects any teacher who uses a racial slur.
“I think it’s awful, that’s another reason for the investigation. We need people to come forward. If there are allegations of this type of thing, let us know,” Hall said.
Hall said from here on out, the school board won’t be touching the investigation and he’s leaving it in the hands of lawyers.
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