Parents irritated at school

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 25, 2004

LIVINGSTON-Parents of students at Livingston High School have begun to ask questions about the treatment of their sons and daughters by the principal Bobbie Jean Pope-Dubose. Among their complaints: Tardy children are sent to the streets rather than to the classroom.

Gloria Crumpton, a concerned parent whose daughter attends LHS, has accused administrators of mistreatment and negligence toward the students on behalf of Pope-Dubose.

Crumpton, along with Bird Crockett of Livingston and Robert Lee of Meridian, all have openly discussed alleged mistreatment their children at LHS.

Email newsletter signup

“I can’t about this right now until I talk with my superintendent,” said Pope-Dubose in response to the accusations.

Crumpton said some children are being mistreated and left behind. She also said she often wonders what the term “No Child Left Behind” really means.

“We often use the term ‘No Child Left Behind’, when students are being turned around off the school campus every morning at Livingston High School and sent out into the streets because they were one or two minutes late then they are being left behind because education is important,” Crumpton said.

Sumter County Board of Education Superintendent Lara Larkin was unavailable for comment. Assistant Superintendent Katie Powell deferred questions back to Larkin.

One of the main issues that this group of concerned parents has with the principal is the fact that if a child is one minute late to school, she sends them home. Crumpton said she sees so many students turned around and sent back home because the principal tells them they are late, but the bell hasn’t even sounded yet.

“I know most of the parents, so I called them and asked them to write a note for their child and I go by and pick it up and take it to the school,” Crumpton said.

She said the children couldn’t learn if they are not in class. She also said some of the students get sent home because they have on the wrong color shoes or because they talked in class or finally if they wanted to use the restroom.

“I’m all for order and effective discipline in the school, but this kind of treatment is way to severe for the students,” Crumpton said.

She said when the students are late, instead of sending them home and letting them walk the streets, administrators should call the students’ parents and let them know about it. She also said sending the students off campus does not really mean they are going home.

“They might go out in the streets and get raped or hurt or even killed and you were the ones that turned them off campus,” Crumpton said.

Another one of the problems parents discussed is the lack of restroom breaks for students. Bird Crockett has a son in the school and she said they would not allow her son or any of the other students to go to the restrooms unless they call the office and ask the principal for permission. At that point, a male janitor takes the student male or female to the bathroom.

Crumpton said her daughter had to be taken to the hospital due to a bladder infection from not being allowed to use the restroom while at school. She also said that once she gets her bill from the hospital, she is considering taking legal action against the school.

Robert Lee has a nephew at LHS and he received a phone call from his nephew Wednesday while at school telling him that he was sick and to please come pick him up. He also said he drove from Meridian to get his nephew and when he arrived at the school, his nephew told him that he wasn’t sick but had to use the bathroom really bad and they wouldn’t let him.

“I had to drive to Livingston because the school wouldn’t let my nephew use the restroom. Something needs to be done about this before someone gets hurt,” Lee said.

Crockett said that Pope-Dubose told her son “he would never be anything in life.” She also said Pope-Dubose sent her son to the alternative school after another boy jumped on him and while her son got sent to the other school, the other boy wasn’t reprimanded at all.

“There is too much favoritism shown at that school,” Crockett said.

She also said that she would be glad when her son graduates from LHS because she can’t take too much more of the treatment he has been receiving lately from the school. She also said, “The students aren’t animals and they deserve to be treated fairly because all they want to do is learn,” Crockett said.