DHA Executive Director Doug Faust wouldn’t speak on the record, and wrote in statement to the AJC, “We are not in agreement with these inaccurate and inappropriate statements.”
Brown’s post continued, “As a father who spends good money for his children to be in a safe space while at school I am (angry) about their inability to manage that campus. Do we really want this guy from Iowa, protecting our BLACK children?!”
Dude, who came from Iowa, has been Decatur superintendent 13 months. “Any concerns brought to me I take seriously,” he said. “I try to look beyond any hate speech and evaluate where we are. But [Brown’s language] is not acceptable. Several times he’s reiterated the deliberate use of this phrasing.”
Brown has said he believes Decatur High has a gang problem, which is a symptom of a larger problem in Decatur schools, the gap between white and black students in reading, writing, math, attendance and discipline.
Dude and Decatur police deny a gang problem, but the superintendent acknowledges disproportionality in Decatur students’ achievement.
During the Oct. 11 school board meeting — nearly a month before the incident involving Brown’s daughter — Dude gave an hour presentation including one chart showing that, while Decatur enrollment is 23.2 percent African-American, black students are eight times as likely to be disciplined.
Dude said Decatur’s statistics are similar to the nation’s and he’s emphasized his interest in closing the gaps.
Last May Civil rights and defense attorney Mawuli Davis helped create a Decatur branch of the NAACP in part, he said, to address disproportionality.
Meantime, Brown, who does not use his last name on his blog, has begun calling for the schools to institute a Pan African studies program teaching the spectrum of black achievement.
“I do believe,” Brown said, that Decatur “is the only place in Georgia where blacks, whites, gays and everybody else can be on a level field. You’ve got all the culture in this place. We just need to get together.”