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Published: Monday, May 01, 2017 @ 2:49 PM
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A Florida principal earned a swift reprimand after allegedly instructing her staff to put white students in the same class.
Christine Hoffman is principal of Campbell Park Elementary in St. Petersburg. Her school is majority African-American, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Earlier this year, Hoffman reportedly sent an email to school staff with instructions on assembling classrooms for the 2017-2018 school year. The Times reported that Hoffman asked teachers to assemble classrooms with “a mix of reading levels,” an “equal number of boys and girls" and “no more than two students who frequently misbehave per class.” She also reportedly said the few white students per grade should be placed in the same class.
This appears to be a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which forbids schools from segregating on the basis of race or national origin verbatim.
Hoffman did not detail why she sought to segregate classes in the original email and has not done so since the incident. It’s worth nothing that she only sought to separate white students from the rest of the student body; Hispanic, Asian and multiracial students were not mentioned in any context.
Maria Scruggs, president of the St. Petersburg branch of the NAACP, said she is “at a loss for words,” according to the Tampa Bay Times.
“I thought it was a joke,” she said when interviewed last week.
Hoffman has apologized for the email and will “leave campus," according to the Times. She is currently undergoing an “administrative review” by Pinellas County school officials. They will determine her fitness to return to a role with the district, where she’s taught since 1991.
Although parents have called for Hoffman’s resignation, she’s apparently not going quietly. Hoffman joined two officials for a Monday morning meeting with parents and supposedly told those present that she was the “best thing that has happened to Campbell Park.”
On Thursday, she wrote an email to her school’s staff, apologizing for her “poor judgement,” the Tampa Bay Times reported.
She apologized to parents on Friday.
“As a white woman leading a predominantly black school, I am approaching this as an opportunity to learn,” Hoffman wrote in a letter to parents, according to the Huffington Post. “Although I have participated in training on diversity and implicit bias, this recent incident makes it clear that I need to seek additional opportunities to apply racial sensitivity and cultural competence in my work.”
According to Hoffman’s apology last week, she did not intend to group all white students in one class together.
“The guidelines included a statement on assigning white students together, and I explained in the meeting that I was asking that there not be a class with only one white student,” she said. “I was not asking that all white students in each grade be clustered, as that is not our practice in creating class lists. I understand how racially insensitive the guideline was.”
Brianna Chambers contributed to this report.
Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 3:58 PM
— David and Louise Turpin, the California couple who were charged with torture and child abuse after authorities accused them of holding their 13 children captive in dire conditions, previously lived in Texas, several news outlets have reported.
ABC News reported Thursday that it had acquired pictures from inside the family’s former Texas home, near Fort Worth. The pictures were submitted by the home’s current owner, who took the pictures after he bought the foreclosed property about 18 years ago.
The pictures, which can be seen here, show stained carpets and walls. The current owner told ABC it required an “extensive cleanup” and that he and his wife “believed that the previous occupants destroyed the house because it was being foreclosed on.”
The anonymous owner also told ABC that feces were smeared all over the walls of every room at the time that he bought the home.
Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 11:34 PM
— A 12-year-old boy from Michigan who vomited during dinner one night, went to an urgent care facility the next night and had a flu test come back negative tragically died the very next morning.
Michael Messenger’s family can’t believe how quickly their world was turned upside-down, losing a son and a brother who had been so full of life in just a matter of days.
The timeline of Messenger’s symptoms, evaluation and death has his mother Jessica Decent-Doll urging other parents not to wait if they see signs of flu.
“Don’t wait, it’s all I can say. This flu or whatever is going around this year is unbelievably dangerous,” she told the Times Herald.
12-year-old Michael Messenger died last week after having flu-like symptoms for a few days. https://t.co/ILoR9h5vva— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) January 17, 2018
Messenger vomited during dinner Jan. 9, was taken to an urgent care the next evening where he was cleared for flu and administered anti-nausea medication and was found unresponsive at home in bed the morning of Jan. 11.
An hour and a half later, he was declared dead at a hospital.
Decent-Doll said her son’s vital signs were deemed normal at the urgent care center and that the family was advised to give him fluids.
DEADLY FLU WARNINGS: The death of 12-year-old Michael Messenger of Clay Township, Michigan, of flu-like symptoms after a rapid flu test at an urgent care came back negative is raising new questions about the epidemic. @GioBenitez reports. pic.twitter.com/tpJdY2Qpbg— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) January 19, 2018
By 9:15 a.m. Thursday, it was clear Messenger’s life was in grave danger.
“I ran upstairs, and I sat with him, and I tried to get him to respond to me, but there was no response, nothing,” Decent-Doll said. “It’s indescribable, it really is.”
The grieving mother said that her son had just gotten a flu shot in December and that he “never stopped, ever. He loved science. He loved his family.”
Kristen Ervinck started a GoFundMe to help the grieving family:
"Mikey was so full of life and so energetic he lit up the room with his smile," it read.
Michael Messenger's funeral was Thursday. His family is still waiting for the results of his autopsy.
Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 10:49 PM
PALM BEACH, Fla. — The federal government shutdown led President Donald Trump to cancel plans to celebrate the anniversary of his first year in office at a $100,000-per-couple fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago on Saturday.
As of Saturday evening, the fundraiser was still set to go on with presidential son Eric Trump and his wife, Lara Trump, and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel as headliners. About 100 donors were expected Saturday night, with their contributions going to the RNC and Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign.
Eric and Lara Trump and McDaniel also spoke to about 100 local Republican activists in West Palm Beach on Saturday morning, urging them to work to preserve the GOP’s imperiled majorities in the House and Senate.
“We’re very, very lucky that we have majorities in the House and Senate. I mean, we’re very, very, very lucky. But let’s not take that for granted as a party because honestly, 2018 will be as important as ever,” Eric Trump told the Republican group at the West Palm Beach Marriott. “His great work is hugely, hugely impeded if we lose that and I’m going to fight every single day between now and those elections to make sure that those majorities are stronger than ever.”
President Trump had planned to visit Mar-a-Lago on Friday for the 12th time since taking office. But he remained in Washington as congressional Republicans and Democrats failed to reach a spending agreement to keep the government running past midnight.
After Friday’s cancellation, the White House left open the possibility of a Trump trip to Palm Beach on Saturday. The Federal Aviation Administration issued an advisory for an arrival after 2 p.m. Saturday, but rescinded it by mid-afternoon. The latest FAA notification indicated no presidential travel planned to Palm Beach County this weekend.
“No plans to go to Florida while there is a shutdown,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in an email Saturday morning.
Brian Ballard, the Tallahassee lobbyist who was Florida finance chairman for Trump’s 2016 campaign, came to Palm Beach for Saturday’s event and said he understood the president’s choice to remain in Washington.
“I think it was the right decision. I haven’t talked to anyone that’s down here for the event that doesn’t agree,” Ballard said. “We’ll celebrate the one-year anniversary sometime soon.”
Trump supporters, who regularly gather near Southern Boulevard and Flagler Drive to cheer the president’s motorcade as it passes, showed up in Trump’s absence, numbering about 25 at 1 p.m. Saturday.
“It’s the one-year anniversary of President Trump and the mainstream media is ignoring all of his accomplishments. All they want to talk about is the government shutdown over DACA and illegal immigration,” said Lamarre Notargiacomo of Vero Beach, who held an “Eliminate Sanctuary Cities” sign.
Most Senate Democrats voted against a spending bill to keep the government running for four weeks because the legislation did not address the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shields from deportation about 800,000 young immigrants who were brought to the United States as minors by their parents.
Another group of Trump supporters gathered a few blocks away near the garishly decorated “Trumpmobile” and other vehicles adorned with pro-Trump messages. That group left for Palm Beach to drive by an anti-Trump demonstration that police said drew 600 to 700 protesters.
Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 7:17 PM
— Jim Rodford, bassist for popular rock band The Kinks from 1978 to 1996, has died at 76, according to the band.
The Kinks, whose hits include “You Really Got Me,” “Lola,” “I’m Not Like Everybody Else,” “A Well-Respected Man,” “Victoria” and “Waterloo Sunset,” made the announcement Saturday on its official social media accounts.
“It is with deep sadness that we have learned that Jim Rodford passed away – he toured and recorded with the Kinks for many years and will be greatly missed. He was much loved by all of us #JimRodford,” the band said on Twitter.
It is with deep sadness that we have learned that Jim Rodford passed away - he toured and recorded with the Kinks for many years and will be greatly missed. He was much loved by all of us #JimRodford https://t.co/LmWFGd9ZRV— TheKinksOfficial (@TheKinks) January 20, 2018
Founding member Dave Davies also expressed his sorrow over Rodford’s “sudden loss.”
“I’m devastated Jim’s sudden loss I’m too broken up to put words together it’s such a shock I always thought Jim would live forever in true rock and roll fashion – strange – great friend great musician great man – he was an integral part of the Kinks later years RIP,” he wrote on Twitter.
I’m devastated Jim’s sudden loss I’m too broken up to put words together it’s such a shock i always thought Jim would live forever in true rock and roll fashion - strange - great friend great musician great man - he was an integral part of theKinks later years RIP #JimRodford pic.twitter.com/rL5vAuuVwp— Dave Davies (@davedavieskinks) January 20, 2018
Although Rodford did not play for the band when they burst onto the scene in the ’60s, he was credited by Davies as being an integral part of “The Kinks” in their later years. Rodford would later return to the band The Zombies.