‘Nappy-headed’ comment becomes the basis of claim
Student’s mother, attorney to file
On May 23, during class, Century Academy teacher Deanna Rivers told her students it was OK to work in pairs. Shortly after, Rivers stepped out of the room for a moment and science teacher Kelly Dempsey, who is White, came into the classroom to watch over the class. When seventh-grader Brea Persley got out of her seat to work with another student, Dempsey told her to “sit your nappy-headed self down.”
According to Shronda Williams, Persley’s mother, Principal Giselle Edman allegedly said she was happy Dempsey made the comment because “bad things happen to bad people.” Further, said Williams, Edman decided to expel Persley, presented her with a letter saying that the student was not welcome back to school and asking her to return her textbooks. Williams’ attorney Keith Alan explains that Edman also gave her a copy of Persley’s record, which noted a few tardies, absences and uniform violations.
A press release from Century Academy states the opposite, saying that Edman did not condone the language that Dempsey used, that Persley was never expelled, and that “we hope Brea will return to school.”
However, Persley did not return to Century Academy and missed the last three weeks of the semester. Her mother attempted to enroll her in another school, but it was too late because many public schools had already finished the year. Persley was unable to complete the seventh grade, and will possibly need to repeat the last semester at another school.
Williams hired attorneys Alan and John Schlaff, and will file a claim against the school with the New Century school board under the California governmental tort claim statute to receive recompense for the incident. If they cannot resolve matter with the school, Alan says they are prepared to file a lawsuit against the school and the principal. Williams is also looking to change the charter school process so that the principal is held more accountable to a higher authority.
“The principal should not be the end-all be-all,” said Alan.
Century Academy is a part of the Lennox School District. However, the school has its own independent school board. Alan believes the relationship between Century Academy and its independent school board is too close to have effective oversight.
The school has taken action by placing Dempsey on unpaid leave for the rest of the school year.
Nearly three-fourths of the nation’s teachers say they personally would not bring a firearm to their school if allowed, but most educators believe armed guards would improve campus safety, a new survey showed.
Since the December massacre by a lone gunman in Newtown, Conn., many schools have hastened to add safety measures in an effort to prevent similar violence.
The most common step since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 20 first-graders and six educators dead has been ensuring that all doors are locked, teachers said.
More than a dozen mothers of former Miramonte Elementary School students have sued Los Angeles Unified for negligence, claiming their lives also were affected by the acts of a teacher accused of lewd conduct with their children.
The suit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court and comes two months after another suit was filed on behalf of 20 offspring of the plaintiffs in the latest case.
A 13-year-old student was expelled from school after her mother confronted the school’s principal about a teacher’s racial slur.
Through tears, Brea Persley, a student at Century Academy for Excellence in Inglewood, told her mother that her White science teacher, Kelly Dempsey, told her to “sit your nappy-headed self down” in front of the entire classroom.
Parents, students, teachers and other interested stakeholders in the communities surrounding Dorsey and Los Angeles high schools and 42nd Street Elementary School are being invited to attend a special academy where they will review and provide feedback on the plans submitted to operate these Los Angeles Unified School District school under the Public School Choice programs.
The academy for 42nd Street Elementary will be held Monday from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at the school, 4231 Fourth Ave., L.A., in the Parent Center Room 25.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The Los Angeles Unified School District needs critical reform in teacher evaluation, tenure and teaching assignment policies, according to a national study of the district released today.
The National Council on Teacher Quality, a nonpartisan, privately funded research organization based in Washington, D.C., studied five key policy areas—staffing, evaluations, tenure, compensation and work schedule.