close and back to page

Latest News

Latest News

Florida's Hope Scholarship Looks to Stop Bullying But Leaves Out Black Students

Why are Black children always targeted for their hair?

Florida's new school voucher program was designed to help students escape bullying in public schools by giving public funds to students to attend private schools.


In theory, this seems like a perfect remedy to the increasing problems bulling has caused in many public schools. However, many of the private schools that will participate in the Hope Scholarship program have racist practices regarding their hair policies. The practices include banning certain hairstyles like dreadlocks, cornrows and other styles associated directly with Black children. Critics say these policies are perpetuating the same acts of bullying the scholarship program is aiming to eliminate.

DiversityInc has reported on the exclusionary practice, as well.

Natural hairstyles aren't new to the Black community. Black children have worn natural hairstyles to school for at least a century.

Many of the schools who are privy to the scholarships are far from inclusive. LGBTQ students face high rates of bullying, but at least 10 percent of schools that have already signed up for the scholarship ban LGBTQ students or have policies objecting to homosexuality. As of mid-August, around 25 percent of schools in the program advertised using ultra-evangelical textbooks that promote racism, sexism and homophobia.

Emily Martin, Vice-President of education and workplace justice at the National Women's Law Center, stated: "Those students are being told that black hair is somehow by its nature anti-education, by its nature distracting, by its nature illegitimate. It's an incredibly disturbing thing to say to black girls and black boys."

Martin also said of the dress codes. "And for girls, with these messages, it's layered on top of messages about gender and sex. You can really see the double whammy of being told in such a personal way that you don't measure up."

A spokeswoman for Florida's Education Department defended the scholarship program, and rejected the suggestion it was anything but inclusive.

"The Florida Department of Education does not condone discrimination of any kind in Florida schools," spokeswoman Audrey Walden wrote in an email. "Using a cursory review of private school handbooks, over which the state has no jurisdiction, to paint a negative picture of the Hope Scholarship Program is both deceptive and irresponsible."

But how can public moneys go to schools with blatantly sexist, homophobic and racist policies?

It's easy when the Florida Department of Education's governor-appointed board is made up of 7 people and all but one is a white male. Ironically, the Chairperson of the board is a black woman.

The Conversation

As racial disparities continue to plague the criminal justice system, a former police chief in Florida admitted to purposely sending Black men to prison.

Read More Show Less

Beto O'Rourke Calls for Amber Guyger to Be Fired From Dallas Police Force

"I don't understand given the actions how anyone can come to any other conclusion," O'Rourke said.

Beto O'Rourke, the outspoken Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful, suggested at a rally on Friday that Amber Guyger should be fired from the Dallas Police Force.

Read More Show Less

Bail for Samuel Woodward, accused of stabbing 19-year-old Blaze Bernstein to death in January, has been set at $5 million, and Woodward needs a new lawyer.

Read More Show Less

Video of an Oregon Woman Spewing Racist Comments Goes Viral​

"I wanna make sure she gets seen and her racist, ignorant behavior is exposed," Selina Cairel said in a Facebook post.

FACEBOOK

A 30-second video shared on both Facebook and Twitter of a white woman making xenophobic and racist comments to an Asian woman went viral in less than 24 hours as social media users tried to identify the racist.

Selina Cairel was subjected to the vile rant by Sierra Dawn Measelle, identified by a website called Coed, which also said she is a stripper.

Cairel posted the video on Facebook on Wednesday, and it's garnered more than 1 million views.

Read More Show Less

Dallas Police Department Attempts to Demonize Murder Victim Botham Jean

The Dallas Police Department's "discovery" of marijuana in Botham Jean's apartment is an attempt to deflect from the real issue.

TWITTER

Botham Jean was buried one week to the day he was murdered by Dallas police officer, Amber Guyger.

Read More Show Less

Tennis Umpires Reportedly Discuss Boycotting Serena Williams' Matches

Williams standing up to sexism is creating a fear of culture change.

REUTERS

As a Black woman, and tennis superstar, Serena Williams has experienced racism and sexism in her profession, repeatedly. And now, umpires may collectively come against her for calling out sexism and boycott her matches.

Read More Show Less

UPDATE: Arrest Warrant Finally Issued for White Man Who Threatened FAMU Students

The viral video should have been all the evidence needed.

UPDATE: Sept. 17, 2018

Almost a week after a white man pulled a gun on Black college students, which was clearly detailed in a viral video, a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

"After reviewing all of the evidence and consulting with the State Attorney's Office, a warrant was obtained for Donald Crandall, Jr.," the Tallahassee Police Department said in a statement.

The warrant, issued on Friday, is for violation of a state law against improper exhibition of a firearm.

As of Monday, Crandall was still not in custody.

On Sept. 8, the 49-year-old attempted to prevent the four Florida A&M University (FAMU) students from entering an elevator in the Stadium Centre apartment complex. The complex's management said Crandall is not a resident of the building.

"Once we found out he had the gun, it turned into a whole different situation," FAMU student Isaiah Butterfield told ABC News. "We really think he was trying to provoke us to the point where it got violent so he could retaliate with the gun.

"I knew that if this dude even feels threatened, he's going to find any excuse to pull the trigger."

ORIGINAL STORY

A video posted on Twitter, which has gone viral with more than 300,000 views, shows an encounter between four Black college students, and a white man who pulls his gun on them when they were just trying to visit a friend's apartment.

Read More Show Less

Racist Louisiana Teacher Fired After Making Racist Remarks on Facebook

Why is it that Blacks in the U.S. are always told to leave the country they built?

Racist math teacher, Valerie Scogins, is now out of a job after making incendiary statements last week on Facebook regarding Colin Kaepernick's Nike ad.

Read More Show Less