Federal probe underway over racist allegations at Trussville City Schools

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A federal complaint has triggered an investigation over racially-tinged allegations at Trussville City Schools in Jefferson and St. Cloud counties.

The complaint – recently obtained by the Trussville Tribune – alleges a “pattern of ignoring minority persons of this city and school system,” including racist language graffitied in public school bathrooms and hallways, and the use of slurs by school officials and athletics coaches.

“Situations where teachers / bus drivers would ignore complaints of racism / bullying from employees as well as students. This includes making black students sit in the back of the school bus” are specifically cited in the complaint.

“African American students have been called slurs such as ‘monkey’ consistently on the Trussville City School buses,” the allegations read.

While Trussville Principal Dr. Pattie Neill has not confirmed the probe, an investigation into the enumerated incidents have apparently been ongoing for some time.

Trussville teacher and basketball Jim Sanderson was placed on administrative leave over a month ago amid allegations of misconduct, though his attorney Donald Jackson says the formal rebuke was baseless and that Sanderson should be reinstated.

The bottom line is, these allegations are baseless,” said Jackson. “They’re entirely without merit. This is a select group of African-American parents who are engaging in the worst form of reverse racial discrimination that I think I’ve ever seen in a public school environment.”

The investigation, involving the federal Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, lists multiple witnesses to the allegations that have either retracted their claims or did not know they were included in the complaint.

”If I had a complaint, I don’t know what it is. I don’t consider what I expressed with an individual a complaint, I considered that a concern. Honestly, to put my name on something like (the document) would not be a discredit to anybody. It would be I had a concern or an issue I expressed, and it was rectified immediately,” said Davella Malone, who is listed as a “parent with complaints.”

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