A defiant Florida principal says she was forced to resign following an assembly about poor academic performance that included only black students.
Bunnell Elementary School Principal Donelle Evensen resigned from her position last week after growing calls for her ouster.
Black fourth- and fifth-grade students were reportedly pulled from their classrooms to attend an assembly about the poor performance of African-American children on standardized tests.
Students were told they could end up “dead or in prison” if they did not focus on academics and raise their grades.
Staff singled out high-achieving black students and told their peers they could achieve similar results with better concentration.
Attendance, school officials confirmed, was based solely on race.
Black students who passed their state exams were also included in the cafeteria meeting.
Two teachers, both black, reportedly led a presentation highlighting that 32% of the school’s African-American students passed their math and English exams, according to the Daytona Beach News Journal.
Principal Donelle Evensen resigned from her position last week. Flagler Schools
The children were told they would be rewarded with McDonald’s meals if they met certain benchmarks.
Parents of children who attended criticized the assembly, arguing that their children found the experience humiliating.
Danielle Brown, whose daughter was at the meeting, said she was concerned that her daughter would be singled out in front of her peers.
Evensen (pictured receiving an award) said she did not deserve to be expelled after holding an academic achievement meeting with only black students.Flagler Schools
“I feel like you’re setting her up to become a victim of harassment,” she told the outlet.
Another black parent told The Post that the assembly should never have been held strictly along racial lines.
“Why would you take a student who passed out of class?” she said. “That doesn’t make sense. They didn’t think about this.”
The assembly told black students that they would face dire consequences if their performance did not improve. Flagler Schools
Evensen, who was in her first year as principal, rejected her forced dismissal in a resignation letter.
“I can only hope that because of the unfavorable attention on this situation, light is shed and a larger conversation is inevitable regarding the achievement levels of student subgroups, including African American students and students with disabilities,” he wrote.
Evensen had previously been the school’s assistant principal for four years and was named Flagler Schools Assistant Principal of the Year in 2022-23.
LaShakia Moore, superintendent of Bunnell Elementary School, accepted the resignation. Flagler Schools
“Please know that I have done my best to inform district officials of the positive manner in which the meeting with African American students was conducted and reminded them of all that we have already accomplished and the plans for what we will do next.” we would make it this school year. Evensen wrote in a letter to his former employees.
A teacher who participated in the assembly, Anthony Hines, also left his position last week.
Superintendent LaShakia Moore accepted both resignations.