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BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Beverly Graham says her grandson Traquan is being targeted at the Clarkton School of Discovery in Bladen County not because of the quality of his actions, but rather the color of his skin.

“You have got to know that this school is so racist it’s pathetic,” Graham said. “No one really knows until you go into the school and talk to the kids.”

Graham says she has had enough. Her grandson Traquan was recently suspended for 45 days on drug charges from Clarkton School of Discovery. She says Traquan was falsely accused of having marijuana on campus after two other boys were found with the drug. She says the principal of Clarkton has had a problem with Traquan since he accused her of being racist.

“He is not a dummy. He saw what was going on with the racism, and he confronted her,” Graham said. “We had a meeting out there with them, and he confronted the lady and told her, ‘You’re racist. You don’t treat the kids of color like you do the other kids.’ She was fire mad. They were all mad at him.”

Traquan says he saw that the other boys had the drug, but he did not know what it was. When he was called down to the office, he says principal Stephanie Ensminger told him to write in a report that he got the drugs at his bus stop.

“I just picked it up not realizing what it was,” Traquan said. “He just snatched it out of my hands. I didn’t have time to do anything at all. Just forget about it.”

Graham says eventually the other boys changed their story and told the principal Traquan was not involved. Now, she just wants her grandson’s name cleared.

“This is an innocent child, and the other two boys have told them this boy has nothing to do with it, and they still won’t change it,” Graham said.

Bladen County Schools Interim Superintendent Roland McKoy says Traquan’s suspension will be upheld, even though Graham appealed the board with the new evidence. When we tried to speak with McKoy on camera, he told us he was not allowed to talk about disciplinary actions of a student, even if we had consent from a parent or guardian. He also said it is his job to protect the children in his county, but he said, “I don’t need to be on TV to prove nothing.”

Comment on this Story

  • Guest

    I don’t know the individual that wrote the above statements; however, before anyone true to make an intelligent argument about anything they might want to proof read what they have to say. After simply scanning this quote and reading two or three sentences I don’t care what it says. If you can’t remember to capitalize to first word of every sentence, include spaces between sentences, capitalize proper nouns (if you know what one is) and spell simple words correctly (ie. no when it should be know) then you are NOT going to be taken seriously not will your opinion be respected.

  • calvin lewis

    amen brother! i mean thats right,sorry!

  • calvin lewis

    hey same old , i work every single day can i join ?

  • keeping it real

    they are just like the devil, throw rocks and hide there face

  • tracy

    The KKK Dont stick their nose in everything like the naacp does.

  • keeping it real

    start with the schools, board of education,county comissioner,and see where the money with all the people getting paid to do nothing,you no bladen county is a sad place to be right now because the truth is bringing to many things out.racism has been in this county for years and it has been at the schools for years the reason nobody says nothing because of race.like i said some of those teachers with there slick mouth hoping the kids dont go home and tell there parent but now the kids are bringing it out.its time the state step in and check it out. because you and mckoy isnt the only one works.the parent is calling out for help,because if we try to fixs it we will go to jail.

  • Concerned Gent

    Look People please, if you are going to do posts about educational issues, at least try and sound like you are educated. That’s the only way anyone is going to take your post seriously. Look, Stop the madness. The child in question needs direction. He has always been supported in his wrong by his family and at this rate it is only a matter of time before this type behavior, both on behalf of the child and the grandparent, leads to a future of encounters with the juvenile justice system. There comes a time in every child’s life when parents/grandparents have to allow the child to have to learn from their mistakes. Any other actions, are enabling, handicapping. For that child to say he did not know what it was he had in his hand, is comical. All I will say is, “I know the child in question.” This is not racism. The cry of racism is smoke and mirrors. If it was racism when he got in trouble, it was racism long before he got in trouble, why was the whistle not blown before now? Grandma, it is imperative that every young man learns life lessons. He understands the lessons of family supports family, family loves family, however, the need for him to learn that actions have consequences is going to help him just as much as either of them. Love sometimes mean, we have to do things that that defies family logic. Good luck in your future endeavors.

  • Yes, I am a member of the NAAWP, that’s working people, I am so sick of every time one of these worthless freeloaders who live in apartments that I pay for, eat food that I pay for, use cell phones that I pay for, get caught doing something illegal, they cry racism.
    If our government would cut out all the freebees to everyone of any color, then this country will go forward. Most all good people have to work all their life to pay for all the others to sit at home freeloading. No person alive today was ever a slave nor has anyone alive ever owned a slave. Just because of the past, before any of us was alive, every good person has been done wrong. Today, the working class is slave to the freeloaders, of all colors.
    I wish that every government handout would stop and everyone would have to work to eat, the reason so many from Mexico are here is because so many of us get to sit home and get a check each month and not work. Make babies and the check gets bigger. I have raised my children, paid my bills, worked all my life, never had a government check and no one is any better than me, but my taxes help pay for freeloaders, of ALL colors and that isn’t right. The grand mother here wants the child back in school because it’s free daycare most likely with free meals and she can sit in the AC while working people work outside in 100 degree heat to pay for her good life. STOP ALL GOVERNMENT HANDOUTS, AND MAKE EVERONE WORK. I know Mr. Mckoy and he is a fine truthful man and is black but a hard working man like myself so these lowlife freeloaders are eating and sleeping and making babies off his hard work also, it’s always funny how it’s racism this and racism that, the little sweet boy did no wrong, right, they never do in their parents, oh were are they in this?, and the grandparents eyes, most likely the grandmother second failure at raising a child, but grandma, give it time, you can always do better with the greatgrand child and you get another 18 years of my money.

  • keeping it real

    The NAACP is no more racism than the KKK they is just a group of people that suppose to help people but theres none around here.Because like i said right is right; right dont wrong nobody.

  • keeping it real

    If Roland Mckoy And stephanie Ensminger so professional why is so much going on at that school in clarkton why is Ensminger sitting back telling the student who can come back to that school and who can not because she dont run nothing so what she need to do is try and do her job and keep this certain child name out her mouth she must be feeling some type of way right now. Because one thing i was taught you can not do wrong and get by. the things that are going on in these shools GOD is not please and he will work it out if he has to move people out the way. so get real Bladen County.

  • sunne

    If the NAACP were involved you would condemn then for the intervention; however, when they are not involved the group is still condemned. What exactly do you want other than to spout negative, ignorant statements? If you want to know if racism is still alive and well, open your eyes and think objectively. Also, reading these posts is a good indication of the racism that exist.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    For some reason, that basic concept of being selective about who you pal around with and where you hang out seems to be non-existent among a large portion of our population.

    Whatever you do, don’t ask them about it….but if you do, the silence will actually speak volumes.

  • Guest Poster

    Both Roland McKoy and Stephanie Ensminger are both professional people and administrators. In my opinion, it makes no difference what race they are, but Mr. McKoy is black, and Mrs. Ensminger is white. Whatever race they are, they are both people who take their responsibilities seriously, and neither of them is racist. There are kids in our public schools – and some of their parents and guardians – who have used the cry of racism to excuse many unacceptable acts. The child never grows up and takes responsibility for himself and his own actions; instead he/she becomes a perpetual victim in his/her own mind.

    I do not know the boy involved. And I do not care what race he is. But I do know both Interim Superintendent McKoy and Mrs. Ensminger, and I know that neither of them would be motivated by racial prejudice.

  • keeping it real

    mckoy is someone that has the school all messed up and ready to run he no better than the last ones.Ensminger is someone who smiles in your face and talks behind your back thats how she got this job.but to keep it real the school need a real leader out there someone who willing to deal with these teenage kids.first thing she do is send them out the door.so now that bladen county close extended hope where will they go home.because in the past thats where most of the student went to school at check the attendance there and dont be surprise and some of the dumb reason they were sent there.I know when the new man comes in he got a mess.But i pray GOD will work with him.I ASk that god go before him-go with him-go behind him.

  • AF Flight RN

    Mr. McKoy usually has something worth listening to…None of us are all profound, waxed and poetic, 24/7.

    Maybe this young man might decide to find Mr. McKoy, find out what he has to say and then follow his guidance. He has done this for a while. A strong role model might be a handy thing to have around for this young man. We’e always hearing about how kids need role models; then we go and talk badly about them when they speak up becuase it didn’t suit us; it didn’t make us feel GOOD. Maybe there is a lesson to be learned here. Life is not easy; it’s not a feel GOOD party. We all get a trip to the woodshed once in a while. We probably needed more trips there than we actually received.

    Then we’re talk all about “respect”. Maybe it’s time we showed Mr. McKoy some respect and listen instead of making all this noise on the TV. Baby, your wonderful grandmother is not going to be there forever.

    We might ALL learn something. All of us, me included. I’d make an appointment, take a notebook and a pencil to TAKE NOTES if it were me. It’s called growing up. I’d take my punishment and come back to CSD with my head up like a big boy learning how to grow into a young man. You can do it!

  • Guest789

    Wheres th NAACP? Iam surprised they havent commented on this situation! If you wanna see racism look at that group!!

  • AF Flight RN

    Can we let this rest? This is a sad situation. Mr. McKoy is a FINE man. He’s doing his job.

    If this were my child, it surely wouldn’t be on WWAY, or any other news media. It would be handled at home beween me and mine; none of you would be reading about it.

    Some things need to be addressed, taught and handled at home. Start with “Stay AWAY from people dealing drugs”…They are nothing, but trouble waiting for a place to pull you in, too.

    Trouble does not respect or distinguish the color of your skin or mine. That’s where Momma and Daddy’s teaching comes in… Thank you.

  • GuestLee

    “How can you think of saying, ‘Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”

    – – New Living Translation (©2007)

  • Guest228

    You have been in the business for a long time and you know what INAPPROPRIATE means when a teacher and a student is involved..lets not play dumb now?

  • Guest228

    on WWAY where they were suspended because of sexual claims and were under investigation, especially in brunswick county but yet you didnt take the comments section off of those..you pick and choose unfortunately and it involves black people who are under the bus on this site a lot..the investigation is pending in the above story and posters are conjuring up their own conclusions so whats the difference as you stated above in your reasoning in not posting comments to the white teacher at laney..You cant be bias when you CHOOSE to especially in great journalism as you proclaim WWAY to be..Star News or WECT didnt turn off their comments for the Laney teacher, whats your interest in that story, my friend?

  • Scott Pickey

    Guest228 – to be clear, the Assistant Principal at Laney is charged with having an INAPPROPRIATE relationship with a student / or students. No one has said it was sexual.

    That case is still also under investigation. I felt that until it’s complete, I didn’t want people conjecturing about what happened.

    In this case however, the grandmother would gladly like the interim superintendent to discuss her grandson’s suspension. He says his job is to stand up for students and says state law prohibits him from talking about the case. However, as I understand it, and I may be wrong, school officials can discuss cases with the permission of the guardian.

    Race has nothing to do with either story as far as our website comments go.

    Scott Pickey
    WWAY News Director

  • Guest228

    let me tell you why there is a race card on WWAY and in this community..a white principal at laney high school has been accused of having sexual conduct with two black basketball players and WWAY takes away the comment section but yet we have a black grandmother accusing a white principal and lets keep the comment section on! I’m pretty sure my post wont get posted but this community is so racist especially when the news involves a black accuser or victim as the subject of the story..look at the Berger story..he gets caught with no insurance on his vehicle and people have turned that story into illegal immigrants not having insurance..For every poster on here disclaiming the race card or calling it foul, I have dealt you another one..its called the JOKER! look at yourself in the mirror and call it for what it is!

  • Bladen Friend

    Yes only channel three would run a story like this.

    Let the grandma bash the school, paint it with the racism card, knowing well that the law prevents the school from sharing their side of the story.

    Its fun like clubbing baby seals, since schools can’t defend themselves.

    That may have not been Traquan’s dope, but sometimes kinds are in the wrong places at the wrong time.
    If grandma harrased those other two boys, no wonder they might have recanted their story. Getting it from the school and from grandma…you can make something go away.

    McKoy is african American, BTW. He also has been very aggressive helping stamp out issues that he felt were racist in the past. (Didn’t matter the race.)

    Let’s hope that Traquan learns something from his 45days and we don’t see him get 48 months later on.

  • Guest28429

    The fact that the Board is going to uphold the suspension after being presented with evidence that the charges are false is very shameful. Some may even call that racist or are they afraid of pointing out the error of the principal’s actions or will this affect her year-end numbers in a negative way. These false accusations should be removed from his school record and those responsible for it admit their mistake. With both the other young men involved stating he had nothing to do with it, please tell me how he is still worthy of a 45-day suspension?

  • kevinWPittman

    Now I’m not saying Lil Traquan is innocent or guilty. All I’zzz will say izzz dat , dat da race cod is played evrytimezzz sumz peoples donts get derrrr way.

    Da dont wants to be held back in da work place cause day is black but theyz expect a promotion becauz day iz a minority. so lets play the race card everytime to get what we want. Lets all disregard whos most qualified or whos right and whos wrong.

    Quite honestly whether traqaun is innocent this time or not if mama, daddy or grandma had busted his lil ass when he was coming up then guess what, yep u guessed it he probably wouldnt be hanging with the wrong crowd today

    thanks ps son of a white mom and black dad so im not racist

  • Guestsnc

    Hello, I think you just provided a great confirmation of what I posted earlier about assumptions. Is it possible that the school could be wrong? If your child were falsely accused would you work to make things right?

    I don’t know this child or his background; however if the other boys said he was not involved why wouldn’t the school system reconsider? Is it connected to race? Again, I have no idea.

    And I’d like to offer another perspective on the idea of a “race card”. Read the language of some postings on this website and the vicious nature of the comments. Look at the comments made on the crime-related news articles where the accused appear to be one race versus another — and the number of posts that are made to these reports. If one race — multiple posts; if another race — very few to none. Is that behavior playing the “race card?”

  • Guestsnc

    If the other boys found guilty said this young man was not involved shouldn’t that be taken seriously? I agree with another poster here — maybe his grandmother should take this to a higher level (the state Board, or at least to mediation). This is a serious charge and if her grandson is innocent he should not have to be suspended.

    Either way it tends to be very hard to get the system to admit error when they’ve dug in their heels. Racism is still with us, sometimes subtle — sometimes not.

    Even Republican Presidential Candidate Herman Cain has stated how race and racism have impacted his life. To this young man I’d say realize that as an African American male you often have a higher bar to get over in many cases because of assumptions some people have about you. Don’t let that hold you back!! Move forward and achieve; prove them wrong. Read about the inspirational life of Dr. Ben Carson and his book Think Big.

  • Guest66666

    Sounds like little Traquan is a trouble maker and should be suspended permanently from the school system and McKoy needs to return to English 101.

  • GuestGraham

    To let you know Tray is not and has not been a trouble maker and you also should be dismiss and grandma has her education and another thing grandma didnt write the article and some people are still dumb to some facts and dont want to know the truth but you dont have to worry about his parents because I am his parent and have never said he was better than any other child and another thing you have the right to believe what ever you choose but the truth will always stand.And maybe you need to be delivered from your demons because you wont find them in me. I would never use racism or for that fact anything to clear someone of their wrong doing and if he was guilty he should have been punished but he was not and yes he took dare class and if it had been in his hand long enough he probably would have known what it was but the one who dropped it snatched it and it does not hurt me one bit that some think Im using racism to clear my grandson but thats were you are very wrong.The racism was already there when he arrived at this school so get your facts straight before you pass judgement on someone. I strongly advise patents to come forward because I know you child has a story also.

  • LieDetector

    A middle school child that doesn’t know what marijuana is? My lie detector is going off. I remember being in 4th grade and a police officer from the D.A.R.E. program coming to our school and showing us what marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and crack looks like. When I was in 6th grade, we had to study current events, and with medical marijuana becoming more widespread, pictures of marijuana are prevalent all over the internet, newspapers, television and magazines. To say a middle school kid didn’t know what marijuana was is highly unlikely. Denial is a horrible thing.

  • Guest1234567

    If nothing else works, you always play the racist card.

  • wellthattoo

    Racism is also a horrible thing. Too bad the racism card gets thrown out so often by people who can’t find any other way out of a tight spot that their own poor decision making got them into.

  • Guesthuh

    never saw or knew what pot was until I was in the 8th grade, that was 1984. That was growing up in Jacksonville Fl and Va Beach so not podunk little places. Yes it is possible he has never seen it to know what it is. Believe it or not some (very few) parents still raise their kids to be decent and not associate with the idiots in teh same school or society. Just becasue he is black does not mean that he should know what pot is. Most of you parents who think your kid is a little angel, need a wake up call. Growing up white middle – upper middle class ALL of my friends smoked pot. Go down to CVS, spend 25$ on a home test and piss test your own kid. I bet tehre will be alot of surprised parents. And yes I am white.

  • malfunction lie detector

    Yea right, your detector probably had malfunctioned. Guarrante you if you place catnip tea up against marijuana a middle school kid couldn’t tell the difference. And yes denial is a horrible thing, but to constantly continue to deny the African Americam race an education at Clarkton School of discovery is also horrible. This has been going on for years. I/myself was kicked out four times in my senior year of high school because I voiced my freedom of speech to let them know they where racist. This was 26 years ago. Now things are worst. Our black kids can’t go in there and get a good education. I had a child there two that was falsely accused of stealing money. The dumb principal couldn’t even indentify my child when I confronted her. When I asked her to pull his records she apologized over and over, but the damage had been done. If they don’t have evidence of the child having marijuana then his name should be cleared. A school totally operated by only white teachers, and they want dare put a black principal there. What is that if it isn’t racists? The principal there previously was really bold enough to let you know that the school was for whites only, and nothing has changed. My girlfriend subbed there, and she reported to me that the elite classes where only offered to whites. What is that if it isn’t racist, no blacks are allowed to do anything. Buy a year book, you may see a black child here and there. So too the Graham family please continue to fight for you son, because he has a right just like the others. If they suspend the white kids for having drugs there, the school would be empty. Instead, they pat them on the back and brush it under the rug. Reach out to the public and I believe many will come forth.

  • sickofit

    A middle school kid is hanging around with some pot heads but doesn’t know what marijuana is, yeah right. Even if it was just regular tobacco, it isn’t allowed. Poor ole Traquan is a victim of RAAACCCIIISSSMM. Lay down with dogs Traquan and you get up with fleas.

  • Guest461

    There is NO shortage in the education of drugs in the school system! He knew exactly what he had in his hands.

    Traquan, here is a BIG tip for you and your grandmamma: Get the the big, fat bullchip off of your shoulder, focus hard on getting a good education and avoid the vermin to propel yourself out of and away from the edges of destitution. This world NEEDS intelligent, positive thinking young men and women. We already have enough that barely get by, blame their problems on everybody else and allow the color of thier skin to be a self-prohibitive ankle breaker as an excuse to stay in the back of the pack.

    The world awaits you young man! There are no shackles any longer, only the ones you purposely hold tight to prevent your own success! Move FORWARD, not sideways or backwards. It is simply up to you.

  • Doesn’t take Nostradamus

    He’s a good boy.

    Someday he’ll be a good family man.

    He’ll be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    He didn’t know the gun was loaded.

    He ran from police because he was afraid.

    It was all racism.

    Thanks Mom.

  • Guest?


  • Guest461

    …from going back to school and improving your education. It is evident that your writing and spelling skills need some serious attention. But from what I read from your post, you’re just another angry and racist individual that missed the education mark and want to blame it on others due to YOUR lack of focus and responsibility when the opportunity was in your lap. It is nobody’s fault but YOURS.

    You’re an adult now and hopefully know how to play better with the big kids. This is a wide open world with equal opportunities for all, especially education, but it takes motivation and tenacity. Most of all it means flicking that proverbial chip off your shoulder, quit blaming others for you poor decisions, then get out and make something out of yourself. Stop depending on others to do it for you and stop blaming others when that doesn’t happen to YOUR satisfaction! At your age though, with your attitude being this way for so long, you’ll have a difficult time overcoming your personal demons. You will need to work long and hard to get over the wall you built for yourself!

  • legs

    Believe me when I say, I didn’t miss a thing. See, I was never one to wait on a teacher to teach me. Yes, I am an adult whom have lived in Bladen County all my life. Racism has always been an issue. You see the thing about it the fact that white people are scared of a black man, especially with a education. All these white kids that take drugs into the school system and get caught with it, but don’t get suspended for a half of a day less more forty five days. If that ain’t racism, what is it?

  • SurfCityTom

    bring out the racisom card.

    If the drug charge is unfounded, and if the school will not reinstate him prior ti the completion of the 45 day suspension, get the Education officials from Raleigh involved.

    Let them do a thorough investigation.

    If the charge sticks, Grandma should go on air and apologize.

    On another point, where are the Mother and Father in all this?



  • Guest84

    Yeah this doesn’t add up. You know what marijuana is from a very young age. Also, were the other 2 boys black or white? If they were black, are they saying they got caught because they are black? If they’re white, are they saying they got caught because they are white? The horrible thing about stereotypes is that sometimes they are true. I don’t think WWAY did enough reporting on this one. But they again, if they did, they’d probably be accused of being racist.

  • Guest007

    So, drug test him. If he’s clean, then reverse his punishment. If he’s positive, expel him and make him a public mockery because he played the race card to get out of trouble.

  • keeping it real

    What you fell to understand punishment has been done he did his 45 days at extened hope and it had nothing to do with no race card.you know black people do not need a race card to get out of it thing.we need some schools that want to educate our kids and know we are not going to sit back and let people talk and treat them any kind of way.staff and teachers have said to some kids you want never be nothing.how you think that child felt. teach the black kids are find a new job and be grown ups .

  • Guest of the Week

    Bladen County Schools Interim Superintendent Roland McKoy: “I don’t need to be on TV to prove nothing.”

    I would expect the superintendent of a school system would have better grammar than that. I’m not impressed by his attitude either.

  • GuestOnTheRiver

    What I find troubling in this article is the Interim Superintendent who says the boy’s suspension will be upheld even though there is an appeal that presents new evidence. This is troubling from a purely legal standpoint. Apparently, it doesn’t matter if you have evidence that could prove your innocence in Bladen County.

    Moreover, having a child (a minor) write a statement without having that minor’s parent or guardian present is definitely not right. And, if the account is truthful, having to write it under duress is even worse.

    To those who doubt the story, I ask… why is it so unthinkable that racism still exists?

    I am as white as Casper the ghost and a real estate agent. I have been around some of our inland areas that are a little less ‘advanced’ (for lack of a better word) than Wilmington proper, while showing properties to clients.

    You’ll be amazed to see so many people lock their doors as soon as they see me walking to their homes with minority (be they hispanic or African American or American Indian) clients. And you’ll be surprised at what some prospective sellers will tell me. A prospective client in a nearby county specifically requested that her property not be shown to certain people fitting a certain (racial) profile.

    Needless to say, these prospective customers were told to go elsewhere.

    You are naive if you don’t think racial discrimination still exists. In fact, add to that ethnic discrimination (people with accents, even different regional accents of the same English language) and family status (single parents with children), not to mention gender (such as a prospective client who told me he only wanted women to buy properties around his main house).

    I cannot verify if Tarquan’s story is true or not. That’s not my job. But I also cannot dismiss it because I’ve seen some stuff with my own eyes that makes you think we’re still stuck in the early half of the 20th century, much less the 21st century.

  • Guest1555

    You Go Grandma! I am very proud of you for our comments. Stand up for what you believe in. I stand beside you 100%.

  • zenobia

    Perhaps the school should be more concerned about who, exactly, is supplying cannabis to those children, and make sure they do have access to actual dangerous drugs, like prescription opiates, meth or alcohol. Often people who provide drugs to children are pedophile groomers.


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