A Florida elementary school principal is speaking out after she resigned over an assembly that exclusively targeted Black students for their alleged low test scores.
Donelle Evensen was the principal of Bunnell Elementary in Flagler County when Black students in fourth and fifth grade were pulled out of class last month for an assembly that blamed them for the school’s low scores on standardized tests. According to reports, students were told that if they didn’t get their test scores up, they could end up in jail, shot, or dead.
No other students were required to attend the assembly.
Amid backlash from the assembly, Evensen resigned earlier this month. The former principal told News4Jax that the assembly was held to “inspire Black students to improve what she said were subpar test scores with opportunities for mentorship, one-on-one competitions, and fast food prizes.”
Evensen also claimed that she wasn’t present for the full assembly so she wasn’t aware that students were told they would end up dead if they didn’t bring their scores up. She said a Black teacher put the assembly together and other Black teachers attended the presentation.
The ex-principal believes she shouldn’t have been “pushed out of her position over this.”
“What’s being portrayed is not who I am. And that’s not what my intent was. That was not the vision,” Evensen said, noting she never saw the assembly “from a racial aspect” until she received parent complaints.
The district said they were still investigating the incident as of last week.