Troup NAACP calls for investigation into Troup County School System, LaGrange Police Department

Published 9:00 am Friday, March 31, 2023

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The Troup County NAACP has called for Gov. Brian Kemp to investigate the Troup County School System and the LaGrange Police Department, alleging a litany of misconduct and failures by both agencies.

Leaders from the Troup chapter of the NAACP (5237) announced the decision to call upon the governor during a press conference on LaFayette Square on Thursday.

Troup NAACP President Mike Merideth outlined several concerns about allegations made against members of the LaGrange Police Department that were recently made public.

Merideth called upon Kemp to investigate the LPD for the departure of many city leaders and employees in a short time frame, including former Mayor Jim Thornton, Police Chief Lou Dekmar and Fire Chief John Brant.

He also called for an investigation into the alleged sexual misconduct of senior police officers at the Banning Mills retreat along with a senior police officer alleged of exposing himself to a female officer.

A plethora of complaints were raised by Merideth about TCSS, who called the system worthy of being taken over by the state.

“Under the No Child Left Behind Act, the performance of Troup County School System over the past several years, we believe would have forced the State of Georgia to take control of the school district,” Merideth said calling the school system chaotic.

Dr. Glenn Dowell, chairman of the Troup NAACP Education Committee, went a step further calling TCSS one of the worst school districts in Georgia.

“If you are a parent, with a child in the Troup County School System, whether you’re Black or White, you need to be concerned,” Dowell said. “The Troup County School System is in need of a renovation. These things didn’t just begin to take place.”

Dowell noted that several schools have been graded as a D or an F for several years, even before current School Superintendent Dr. Brian Shumate started in Troup County. 

According to the State of Georgia, two Troup County Schools, Callaway Middle and Clearview Elementary, are currently graded at an F. Berta Weathersbee, Callaway Elementary, Ethel Kight, Gardner Newman and West Point Elementary received D grades.

Shumate took over as superintendent in July 2019. Less than a year later, the pandemic hit and completely changed how schools around the country handled classroom education. 

Three years later schools are still seeing the effects of the lost instructional time.

“We have a crisis in the school system. Nothing personal against the superintendent,” Dowell said. “Stop blaming the pandemic on the miseducation of our children … We need to stop making these excuses.”