Jackson County NAACP Responds to New Principal Hire

MARIANNA, Fla. -

Six months ago, Jackson County School Superintendent Larry Moore promised the county's NAACP branch that the district would do a better job of hiring more minority educators and administrators by setting a goal of a 50/50 ratio.

However, the civil rights group is now questioning that commitment after a recent high-profile hire.

"They've known for an ample amount of time that there's a problem, and have basically acknowledged it as a problem, and we're here in 2017, and we still have a problem," said Pittman.

Pittman said the way the district hired the new principal at Golson Elementary School this month is just the latest example.

Of the four applicants, the district hired a White candidate over two African-American candidates, even though both of them had principal certifications.

The person who got the job is not certified.

We reached Jackson County School Superintendent Larry Moore by telephone.

He said the position does not require a principal certification, as long as the individual is eligible for that certification.

Moore also said the candidate they selected was the only one with an elementary education certification, and elementary education teaching experience, calling those a big plus.

Some like Pittman are having a hard time with this decision, especially after Moore seemed willing to pursue diversity back in January.

"The minority population is somewhere around 25 percent, somewhere in that range. And we're less than that as far as when we look at our faculty as a whole - as far as minority educators. So as a goal, Ms. Pittman and I discussed that would be a good goal for us to work toward," said Moore.

Given Moore's statements in January, Pittman calls the Golson's hire "disappointing" and maintains the African American "applicants that have been repeatedly overlooked have done extra."

As for Moore's explanation of the hiring, Pittman says she's not surprised.

"I think that's an expected response," said Pittman.

Pittman is expecting the school district to provide a report detailing the number of minorities who applied and were hired in teacher and administrator jobs no later than July 15th.


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