School Board Member Refuses To Resign After Assaulting Black Worker

Photo: Whitesville City Schools

A member of a North Carolina school board said she won't resign after she was found guilty of assaulting a Black government worker earlier this year. According to NC Newsline, Kandle Rogers has stepped down as the chairwoman of the Whitesville City Schools Board of Education weeks after she was sentenced for misdemeanor assault.

The Columbus County NAACP alleges Rogers hurled a racial slur at Nishawn Pridgen, who's a public works employee, during an incident back in August.

Reporters said Pridgen was placing traffic cones along the roadway during Hurricane Idalia when Rogers drove up, got out of her SUV, and removed one of the cones to pass. By the time she returned to her vehicle, Pridgen replaced the cone. The angry school board member reportedly got out of her SUV again and threatened to have Pridgen arrested.

Rogers ended up scratching him while grabbing his wrist, according to prosecutors. She was given a 60-day suspended sentence, must perform 20 hours of community service, and ordered to pay court costs. The former chairwoman is appealing the verdict.

The Columbus County NAACP, as well as the national organization's North Carolina State Conference, has called on Rogers to resign from the school board. She addressed demands for her to leave during a board meeting on November 16.

“I come before you tonight humbled and embarrassed by the happenings of the last month,” Rogers said, per Newsline. “I am not here, however, to apologize for something I did not do.”

Curtis Hill, president of the Columbus County NAACP, said her vacating the chairwoman position isn't enough, especially less than a month before the board elects new members.

"These actions are not becoming of an official elected to represent our children, and it’s unacceptable for Ms. Rogers to continue to serve in this position," he said in a statement obtained by WCET. "An elected official of that stature is not only making decisions about the kids but also who to hire, and we’re concerned given the nature of the crime, race plays a factor in her decisions."

Earlier this year, Columbus County Sheriff Jody Greene resigned from his position over racist remarks he made about his Black deputies. This was the second time he resigned from his position following his re-election last November.

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