Does Cleveland Schools Have a Diversity Deficit?

Jordan-Ashley Baker, Gaston Gazette, October 9, 2011

{snip} In a school system where one in three students is a minority, almost all teachers in Cleveland County Schools are white, according to school system records.

Cleveland County Schools employed 1,139 teachers for the 2010-11 school year. Sixty-two of those teachers are black, with five teachers representing other minorities. That means about 94 percent of teachers in the school system are white.


“It doesn’t make sense and it’s not logical that these numbers are skewed this way,” said Ron Harrill, a member of the diversity committee composed of community representatives and Board of Education members. The group reviewed and studied the school system’s employment data and presented its conclusions to the Board of Education at a recent work session.

Harrill told Board of Education members that the school system, as Cleveland County’s largest employer, needs to more accurately represent the county’s demographic makeup. The 2010 Census data shows Cleveland County’s population of 98,078 is 75.6 percent white and 20.7 percent black, with other minorities composing the remaining percentage. {snip}

“We think it’s shocking,” Harrill said. “We think it’s disturbing. We think it’s embarrassing for our county, because that’s just not who we are. … We do not think those numbers are 21st century numbers.”


Most black employees in the school system have jobs as service workers, such as cafeteria staff or janitors. Of the system’s 197 service workers, 47 are black.

“Our students need to see us more than just pushing out a garbage can or cleaning up a room,” said the Rev. Lamont Littlejohn, who also serves on the diversity committee. “I see us in leadership roles.”


“There is this myth that you can’t find qualified blacks. . . . I know we have qualified people in our dynamic county,” Harrill said.


The diversity committee asked the Board of Education at its work session to consider a tracking mechanism allowing the human resources department to track minorities applying for jobs.

“We’re working on developing our own application system,” Bridges said, adding that race could be an optional question for applicants so the school system has a better idea of how many minorities are applying for jobs within the school system.



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33 Responses to “Does Cleveland Schools Have a Diversity Deficit?” Subscribe

  1. ice October 10, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    “We think it’s shocking” that so many white people are teachers, diversity committee member says.”

    We think it’s shocking and an abysmal injustice that there are so many blacks certified as teachers who couldn’t pass a high school GED test.

  2. Anonymous October 10, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

    My Southern school district embarked upon a diversity program among both staff and teachers. Staff was easy, offer blacks “administrative” jobs to just sit on their butts. Forget about whites, especially white males that had impressive experience and degrees. And the black workers, their families, and their friends could be counted on to vote for the school board and superintendent, besides, any waste or corruption would go unnoticed and unreported.

    Everything was just great in our new fantasy world until we got to the teachers. You see, in my state there is a proficiency test that all must pass in order to hold a teaching certificate. Oh, oh. Our historically black university, the main source of black teachers in our state, was so miserable that the program was shut down due to an inability to graduate students that could pass the certification exam. And one other curious detail no one expected, the black parents began to complain about their children getting only the black teachers. They believed they were being given the least capable teachers and said so in the schoolboard meetings. How ironic, huh?

  3. Hirsch October 10, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    “Does Cleveland Schools Have a Diversity Deficit?” I don’t know, but they sure seem to have a problem with grammar.

    What I don’t understand is that since the vast majority of classwork (especially these days) is rote, and adheres strictly to a state or nationally-enforced syllabus, what does it matter if the person who hands out tests and gives you a hall-pass to use the bathroom is white, black, or an automated machine with a set of pre-programmed responses?

  4. Urban Teacher October 10, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

    More ethnic cleansing coming.

    Back in the 1930’s, Jews were discriminated against in universities in Austria and Germany. Jewish students were refused advanced degrees and Jewish professors lost their jobs.

    Now it’s happening here to whites.

  5. NBJ October 10, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

    Yet another assault on Whites because of the color of their skin, and nothing more. There is no issue with their commitment, their qualifications, or teaching methods, yet this slimy little weasel, Ron Harrill, has the gall to say they are embarrassed by so many White teachers? If this were said about black teachers, there would be hell to pay. Yet the White people in this county will not utter a word in their defence. If this had been said about my county, I’d be demanding an apology and asking this guy how dare he insult White teachers in such a blatant way. For Gods sake… no for YOUR sake Cleveland County, find your backbone, open up your mouth and SAY something!

  6. Anonymous October 10, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

    What’s wrong with pushin’ a little broom and taking out the garbage? Many school custodians own property, have medical coverage, live in the suburbs, earn lots of vacation, have fishing boats and other toys and are otherwise pursuing the American dream. Blacks who look down on black service workers are racists and classists. I guess they won’t be happy until all the service workers are hispanic. Way to diss black people, black people! The janitors I know wouldn’t be caught dead in a classroom full of thuggish teens even for the high pay teachers around here receive. One of the janitors at the library I work at was complaining to me the other day that he can’t get any of his grandkids to read a newspaper. Another one says his daughter won’t work, period! I respect and value janitors and they give actual service for the tax dollars we pay them.

  7. finally got rid of troy davis, thank God! October 10, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

    We think it’s shocking, too.

    Whites should know by now that wasting their time trying to elevate the blacks is only voluntarily pushing themselves down to the level of blacks. Equality shouldn’t cost us so much. Equality should only be an abstraction we proclaim, and the follow it up by insisting that everybody have an equal opportunity to develop along the lines of their natural capacity and inclination.

    White teachers who try to force blacks to follow White educational aspirations are the most miserable of our race, but if they won’t flee, then we don’t feel sorry for them. The Diversity Curse finds those who deserve it the most.

  8. Ken October 10, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

    No surprise here. The ugly truth here is that there simply are not enough high-IQ blacks in the labor pool. You probably need an IQ of at least 100 to graduate college, and there simply are not enough blacks with IQ’s greater than 100 to meet any arbitrary quota for teaching positions. About 50% of whites have above 100 IQ. With the black IQ average of 85 and a standard deviation of 15, only about 20% of blacks have an IQ greater than 100.

  9. Anonymous October 10, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

    Perhaps the deficit is news to these shocked administrators. They must be completely unaware suburban schools recruit for ‘diversity’ too.

  10. Anonymous October 10, 2011 at 7:39 pm #

    “Cleveland County’s population of 98,078 is 75.6 percent white and 20.7 percent black… Overall, 11.3 percent of Cleveland County Schools employees are black”.

    The white population has an average age older than that of people of color. Whites are therefore more likely to be in the labor market. Someone please tell us know what percentage of the students are black in this county that is 75.6% white?

  11. Anonymous October 10, 2011 at 8:29 pm #

    “We think it’s shocking,” Harrill said. “We think it’s disturbing. We think it’s embarrassing for our county, because that’s just not who we are. … We do not think those numbers are 21st century numbers.”

    (I chuckle).

    “Our students need to see us more than just pushing out a garbage can or cleaning up a room,” said the Rev. Lamont Littlejohn, who also serves on the diversity committee. “I see us in leadership roles.”

    (I burst into uncontrollable laughter).

    “There is this myth that you can’t find qualified blacks… . I know we have qualified people in our dynamic county,” Harrill said.

    (Stop it, you’re killing me! My ribs hurt)!

    Man, you just can’t make this stuff up!

  12. Anonymous October 10, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

    Not enough black teachers but plenty of black basketball players. Maybe teaching doesn’t pay enough for them?

    I’ll tell you why the don’t have enough black teachers.

    70% of black children r brn out of wedlock today. In 1960 25% were out of wedlock


    75% of black males drop out of high school in Detroit.

    Detroit News, 2010


    71% of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes. (Source: National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools.)


    85% of youths in prisons grew up in fatherless homes (Source: Fulton Co. Georgia jail populations, Texas Dept. of Corrections 1992)


    AIDS is now the #1 killer of African-American women between the ages of 25 and 34


    48% of US black women have herpes

  13. sbuffalonative October 10, 2011 at 9:55 pm #

    So they believe White teachers are the problem. Fine.

    It would be best for black children to have their own black schools with their own black teachers.

    Why did these people demand integration?

  14. Anonymous October 10, 2011 at 10:16 pm #

    “Our students need to see us more than just pushing out a garbage can or cleaning up a room,” said the Rev. Lamont Littlejohn, who also serves on the diversity committee. “I see us in leadership roles.”

    It’s up to you parson. You know anyone halfway qualified will have the job on a silver platter.

    Keep beating the bushes for those elusive geniuses in leadership roles.

    My husband was a foreign language teacher in the seventies, when it occured to someone in the Cincinnati school system that there were not any foreign language teachers of color. At least dear husband was forewarned that they were scouting five states trying to find a teacher to replace him. He had only worked in the system for twelve years, I guess you just quietly step aside when an illustrious black comes along to take your job. They did not find a black replacement, I don’t know what they did, I guess hired another white, because husband basically told them to take this job and shove it. Times were better back then.

  15. fred October 11, 2011 at 12:22 am #

    How odd that the numbers would be “skewed” in favor of whites for teaching. After all, the numbers are “skewed” in favor of blacks in nearly every other government job. The diversicrats will be going after the US Postal Service next, right? Right???

  16. Anonymous October 11, 2011 at 12:30 am #

    So, whites are underrepresented at many of these jobs. Why isn’t that a part of this story? Is the salary and the benefits package for Custodian at the Cleveland schools so low they just give you one of these civil service jobs. No whites applied for them?

  17. Anonymous October 11, 2011 at 7:32 am #

    “There is this myth that you can’t find qualified blacks… . I know we have qualified people in our dynamic county,” Harrill said.

    Fine, then go find them. Oh, you can’t? They must be hiding from you, then. Better import some more Africans in that case, I hear Africa’s got a HUGE talent pool.

    The truth is blacks — especially black men — who are both qualified for teaching and also have a desire to teach, are scarcer than heterosexual unicorns. Any black man smart enough to pass the teaching exams and get a job in our schools, is also smart enough to get a better-paying white-collar job in the private sector.

  18. Cliff Yablonski October 11, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    Another case of Blame Whitie For Everything. There are so few black teachers in the district because there are so few black applicants, and that must be because of a racist administration.

  19. Paleface 6 October 11, 2011 at 9:01 am #

    13 — sbuffalonative wrote at 9:55 PM on October 10:

    “So they believe White teachers are the problem. Fine.

    It would be best for black children to have their own black schools with their own black teachers.

    Why did these people demand integration?”

    They didn’t. Their handlers did it.

  20. Anonymous October 11, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    “Our students need to see us more than just pushing out a garbage can or cleaning up a room,” said the Rev. Lamont Littlejohn, who also serves on the diversity committee. “I see us in leadership roles.”

    How about “our students” attending school and while there, attending CLASS instead of wandering the hallways with bathroom passing looking to cause trouble, meeting up with their ” peeps” and fornicating and being “serviced” in the lavoratories and making life unbearable for their teachers and the non- Black students.

    They are the cause for the total failure of the American public school system and once they drop out, the American justice system.

    Why doesn’t SOMEONE have the courage to point out one of the main reasons for the dismal state of the economy brought about by 60+ years numerous entitlements to these lazy, violent, narcisistic people and to other newcomers who, together with our home grown, make no contribution other than murder, rape, assault and general mayhem?

    We have no candidate who offers anything but the same old. Obama and his puppeteers are going to win in 2012. Now the Rs are going to put up THEIR Black guy. What a total travesty.

    Presidential electoral politics have been reduced to the level of the Miss America Pageant i.e vapid, unskilled candidate who promises the electorate lots of things that he/she has neither the intention nor the ability to keep.

    At least the Miss America candidates are pretty.

  21. Marc B October 11, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    Anonymous wrote at 6:44 PM:

    I was thinking the same thing. Doing an honest days work for an honest days pay for adequate pay and benefits is nothing to be embarrassed about. The current crop of young workers I hire have a hard time being diligent and completing basic job tasks properly and could learn a thing or two from a veteran school janitor.

  22. Anonymous October 11, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    “It doesn’t make sense and it’s not logical that these numbers are skewed this way,” said Ron Harrill,……………….

    Funny Ron, I say the same thing when I look at the County Jail inmate roster…..

  23. underdog October 11, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    I called the reportrix who wrote this article. Ms. Ashley-Baker sounded like some 22 y/o white muffin fresh out of some second tier J-school. Her defense for improper verb conjugation? “Cleveland Schools is a collective singular third person.” My response was no, that The Cleveland County School System was a collective singular third person. She said, “Well sometimes we just can’t fit all that into the headline space.”

  24. rockman October 11, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    If they want black teachers in black schools give it to them with a smile

  25. dead as a dawg October 11, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    AmRen should take on Univ. of Ga. as a special Diversity Study.

    They had a lawsuit a few years ago, then they enabled Adams to make a special effort to recruit blacks, now they have the new Embracing Diversity and Inclusion document that essentially gives total preference to “underrepresented groups,” with nothing for accomplished, heteronormative White men.

    Why haven’t Whites threatened a civil rights lawsuit or petitioned a judge for an injunction against the blatantly hostile and dangerously anti-White jobs program for unqualified blacks and LGBT?

    Because all Whites who aspire to work in any institution these days knows that the interests of blacks and LGBT come first, and we are just supposed to “make some sacrifices” for progress is healing the social wounds of the past.

    One thing is guaranteed: the Whites who attend the Diversity training won’t dare ask why the diversity program discriminates against them, victimizes them, marginalizes them, and oppresses their desires to peruse life, liberty, and happiness. They will just all nod and hope to get a gold star on their employment record for attending the training in sensitivity to the victimization of others.

    Whites who participate in such voodoo demonization of Whites only stoke hate and violence against themselves, so we approve.

    Members of the university community are invited to take part in diversity training by the National Coalition Building Institute on Oct. 15 at 9 a.m. at the University Health Center.

    Because of limited seating, pre-registration is required for the daylong training, which works toward ending the mistreatment due to nationality, race, class, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, physical ability, job or life circumstance.

    The training is sponsored by GLOBES, the Black Faculty and Staff Organization and the Office of Institutional Diversity. For more information or to register, email Ricky Roberts, [email protected].

  26. at_liberty October 11, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

    That’s what happens when you raise or maintain the standards for teachers. However, I suspect the idea od black kids being taught by black teachers is a sound concept.

  27. Eric October 11, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

    Deal with it. You had your black schools with your black teachers and black administrators. You didn’t want it. You demanded the white schools. You thought that the white books were newer and the white floors were shinier and therefore you could do just as well as the whites. It didn’t happen. It will never happen. Deal with it.

  28. Anonymous October 12, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    Marc b, have you seen the documentary “Philosopher Kings” ? It’s about the very janitors of whom we speak.

  29. Anonymous October 12, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    Meanwhile, if you shove a non-white teacher in front of white students they better not complain.

  30. Anonymous October 12, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    The George Soros group now occupying Wall Street is also insisting on diversity. White men last after they have submitted to mao style self criticism.

    #OccupyWallStreet’s Racist Speech Rule: White Men Last

    The Occupy Wall Street movement has adopted racist rules for speech at its nightly “General Assembly” meetings, according to which white men cannot speak unless preceded by some other type of person.

    State your race, gender & sexual orientation, then maybe we’ll let you speak. Later.

    According to Occupy Wall Street supporter/observer “Lori“:

    Occupy Wall Street’s General Assembly operates under a revolutionary “progressive stack.” A normal “stack” means those who wish to speak get in line. A progressive stack encourages women and traditionally marginalized groups speak before men, especially white men. This is something that has been in place since the beginning, it is necessary, and it is important.

    “Step up, step back” was a common phrase of the first week, encouraging white men to acknowledge the privilege they have lived in their entire lives and to step back from continually speaking. This progressive stack has been inspiring and mind-boggling in its effectiveness.

  31. Boondoggler October 12, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    I don’t know where the author of this piece went to school. It may have been Cleveland. However, I think it should be pointed out that “Does Cleveland Schools Have a Diversity Deficit” is an illiterate title. It should be (if the subject and verb agreement were correct) “Do Cleveland Schools Have a Diversiy Deficit?”

  32. Anonymous October 13, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    Urban Teacher #4: I have heard more and more White parents utter the words, “Home school” in my presence.

    It has come to a critical point in time where people no longer believe in the lies that sprang forth in the 1960s. No. We’re done, and the game is over.

    When they say it out loud, in earshod of some Minority, and they just don’t care who hears them, you know the tide has begun to turn.

    When they decide to organize other like-minded parents about certain issues, that train has already left the Station. People are truly fed up. I was amazed at how many there are.

    So, I suggest organized Home Schools, with Certified Teachers such as yourself, either teaching the children, or aiding the parents in their instruction.

    In the end, we would all benefit, as we self segregate, much the way that the Amish do.

  33. rjf101 October 16, 2011 at 11:11 pm #

    I’m in the twelfth grade, and I’ve only had two non-white teachers in my entire thirteen years attending public schools. One was my Puerto Rican eigth-grade Spanish teacher, the other was my Hispanic sixth-grade math teacher (but he was pretty light-skinned, you really couldn’t tell he was Hispanic if not for his name). Now, the school district that I currently live in (Killeen I.S.D.) is no more than about one-third white; my middle school was about 33% and my high school is about 45%. And yet, at least 95% of my teachers have been white. Why is this? I don’t know. Although, I must say that I saw pictures of the KISD school board members in a local Chinese restaurant, and about 85-95% in the pictures from the last ten years or so were white, out of at least twenty in each picture. So, maybe the school district IS racist and discriminates against minorities. More likely, however, teaching is a profession that just attracts whites more than it attracts minorities. After all, a lot more women become teachers than men. Is this discriminatory? OF course not.

    I recently decided I want to become a teacher, so its good to know that this is a profession that remains white-friendly.