School psychologist Mark Traina, who made racist remarks on social media, resigns
May 23, 2012
JEFFERSON PARISH, La. – A school psychologist who made what some called racially inflammatory remarks on social media sites has resigned, according to the Jefferson Parish School system.
Mark Traina had remarks attributed to him forwarded to the U.S. Department of Education by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The action by the SPLC came after it had sent discrimination complaints to the Dept. of Education on the Jefferson Parish school system, contending it disciplined black students inordinately more than white students.
The SPLC on Monday released a series of remarks it attributed to Traina's Twitter account, including:
- “Young Black Thugs who won’t follow the law need to be put down not incarcerated. Put down like the Dogs they are!” (January 14, 2012)
- “Serpas should be warning people to STAY THE HELL OUT OF NEW ORLEANS! These Black Dudes will Kill You!” (January 13, 2012)
- “We need many Young Black Males living Thug Lives to lay down their Weapons, get Educated and start contributing to Society” (January 16, 2012)
- “Two additional suspects arrested in murder of 11-year-old Harvey boy: Angry Young black Males with no respect for Life! Destroying the U.S.” (January 13, 2012)
- “Protesters march-Florida! How come White People don’t Protest when Blacks kill Whites which occurs too often? Is that a politically correct?” (March 31, 2012)
- “2 New Orleans policemen shot, 1 suspect dead, another injured: UPDATE | NOLA Quick Someone call David Duke before the NAACP gets here!” (March 4, 2012)
- “Santorum wins Mississippi and Alabama primaries: I grew up in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana-I am a Wallace Man at Heart!” (March 13, 2012)
Jefferson Parish schools had planned an investigation.
Traina was also accused of making racially-charged comments on the web site of The Times-Picayune. He told the newspaper on Monday that he stands by his comments and that they do not apply to the functioning of the school system. He also said that his comments are backed up by data.
The original SPLC complaint describes how the district’s alternative school policies have resulted in black students making up 78 percent of all alternative school referrals even though they are only 46 percent of the district’s student population.
The law center said those students are often referred to alternative schools for minor misconduct, such as disrespectful behavior, use of profanity, disrupting class and horseplay.
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