The Pender County chapter of the NAACP was noticeably absent at last night's school open forum. It was the first public platform for the group to voice its concerns about unfair hiring practices in the school system. Chapter leader Rachel Stephens, told WWAY that the group didn't need to express its concerns because the school board already know about the alleged problem.
This all stems from a January 21 allegation the NAACP made, questioning the school district's hiring practices. The civil rights group alleges minorities are not well-represented on the staff, nor are they hired as often.
In its charge against the school system, the NAACP alleges nepotism played a factor in hiring an assistant principal who was not qualified.
"We decided it was in our best interest not to be there," Rachel Stevens said, as to why the group wasn't represented.
School staff discussed hiring practices during the informational portion of the meeting. Board chair, Tom Roper, reacted last night to the allegations. He said that the school board's hiring practices are solid. Roper also said Pender County Schools have been co-operative with the group while its complaint is investigated, including providing financial documents and a racial break-down of its staff.