COLUMBUS, Ga. — A meeting on a controversial education program proposal has just wrapped up in Columbus. The meeting was called by representatives with the Southern Anti-Racism Network and also members of the Camelot Education Program.
“Race and poverty is a combination that leads to an overwhelming out of school suspensions of overwhelmingly black males,” says Theresa El-Amin.
El-Amin is the Regional Director for the Southern Anit-Racism Network. She says school suspensions lead to something far worse when it comes to the lives of the youth.
“Which is why we call it the school to prison pipeline because that’s what greases it the out of school suspensions,” says El-Amin.
She adds she’s confident in Camelot Education coming to Muscogee County.
“They do not suspend kids and that one factor is making me say this is the way children really can get educated,” El-Amin says.
During the meeting Thursday night some addressed alleged child abuse within Muscogee County. Some addressed the $25 million lawsuit that the district is now facing.
As News 3 reported, teen student Montravious Thomas was allegedly body slammed by a contracted behavioral specialist. He ended up losing a leg as a result of the reported incident.
News 3 asked Camelot representatives to clear up recent claims of child abuse within Camelot. Those claims have many in Muscogee County on edge.
“I can confirm that that’s been reported what I can say is that none of those are founded,” says Chief Strategy Officer for Camelot Education Ray Rodriquez.
However, his next answer appeared to change from his original response.
“We’ve had one case trust me when I say this one case for us is too many one case in Pennsylvania in which we acknowledged the issue and once we were made aware of it we investigated and removed the employees and cooperated with authorities to ensure that didn’t happen again,” he says.
Monday, May 15 members of the school district are touring the Camelot campus in Pensacola. News 3 is told the media will be allowed to ask teachers and students questions about their experience or any concerns that they may have.