Troup NAACP to discuss police and school issues on square

Published 5:31 pm Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Troup County NAACP has announced a press conference Thursday morning to expose what it has called an “emergency and crisis in our community.”

The organization is calling for Gov. Brian Kemp to investigate what they called an “implosion” of the Troup County School System and the LaGrange Police Department.

Both situations have resulted in the miseducation of children and the inability of residents to feel protected and served, said the group in a press release.

“Our concerns are just from the community as a whole,” said Mike Merideth, president of the Troup County NAACP. “We’re here to work within the city, the community and the county to assist with establishing a better quality of life for all our citizens.”

“That’s our charge and our mission … we’re basically here to address civil rights issues, discrimination issues, for our people from all walks of life, so we’ll be having a press conference to present some of our beliefs and our concerns,” Merideth said.

The NAACP said the concerns stem from several incidents and allegations made about the LaGrange Police Department including:

4 Mass resignations/retirements of city leaders and employees, which include the mayor, police chief, fire chief and police officers

4 Alleged sexual misconduct of senior police officers and at retreats held in 2020 and 2022

4 A senior police officer allegedly exposing himself to a lower-level officer

4 An increase in violence in the community

Several complaints were also raised about TCSS, calling the school system chaotic.

“We believe that the school district has refused to hold educators accountable and instead, blame the poor performance of the school system on our precious children,” said the NAACP in the press release. “We specifically call upon the governor to hold accountable, the Troup County School Board, whose responsibility is to hire and fire school superintendents.”

“We further believe that the school board did not exercise its fiduciary responsibility in the building of two gyms for the school district. The cost overruns were in the millions,” the group said.

The group also took issue with the discipline issued to a ninth-grade Callaway student, who was initially suspended but was later expelled.

In response to the announcement, the Troup County School System issued the following statement:

“We understand some of the frustrations of our constituents; however, please understand that the Troup County School System is committed to educating ALL students and that we are on a path of continuous improvement. We look forward to great things in the future!”

The City of LaGrange did not wish to comment.

Merideth said the group will outline its concerns at the press conference on Thursday and open up for questions afterward.

“Our organization has been kind of dormant for the last few years, so we wanted to just bring these issues to our community to let people know that we are monitoring the situations that are going on here in our community and let people know that we’re still alive,” Merideth said.

The Troup NAACP plans to host a press conference on the issues at Lafayette Square in LaGrange on March 30 at 10:30 a.m.