February 27, 2004
Mr. Taylor D. August, Director
Office for Civil Rights, Dallas Office
U.S. Department of Education
1999 Bryan Street, Suite 2600
Dallas, Texas 75201
Dear Mr. August:
On behalf of the children of Beaumont, Texas, our organization is writing to request a full scale civil rights audit of the Beaumont Independent School District (BISD), Beaumont, Texas, under Title VI, racial discrimination.
In a telephone conversation with me, the BISD Information Services and Special Services Offices provided statistics on the numbers of students paddled so far for this school year beginning in August 2003. As of February 12, 2004, here are the facts:
Upon reviewing these statistics, Dr. Robert Fathman, President of the National Coalition to Abolish School Corporal Punishment stated that he has never seen such inequality in any school district in the 24 years that he has tracked school paddling data.
- Total number of students in the Beaumont Independent School District is 20,681 students. Since August 2003, 994 students were paddled.
- There are 13,163 African American students. 894 were paddled, which is a rate of 6.8% of all African American students.
- There are 7,518 all other students. 100 students from all other races were hit. This is a rate of 1.3%.
- If African American students and all other racial group students were equally subjected to corporal punishment their rates would be the same. The reality is that African American students are being hit at a rate that is over 5 times the rate at which all other students are hit.
The Beaumont School Board and administration are doing nothing to correct this glaring disparity.
This leaves children unprotected from a racially discriminatory practice. We ask that your office investigate this matter as soon as possible.
Isabelle Allgood Neal
Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education
5950 Gladys Avenue
Beaumont, Texas 77706
Dr. Carroll Thomas, Beaumont Schools Superintendent
Mrs. Martha Hicks, President, Beaumont School Board
Dr. Shirley Neeley, Commissioner of Education, Texas Education Agency
Mr. Sam Bean, President, Beaumont NAACP
Mr. Gary Bledsoe, President, Texas State Branch, NAACP
Ms. Ana Ansari, Founder, STOP/African American Association to Abolish Corporal Punishment in Schools
Dr. Robert Fathman, President, National Coalition to Abolish School Corporal Punishment
Project NoSpank readers are encouraged to contact the following:
Dr. Carroll Thomas
Beaumont Independent School District
3395 Harrison Avenue
Beaumont, TX 77707
Mrs. Martha Hicks
Beaumont School Board
3395 Harrison Ave.
Beaumont, TX 77707
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