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Investigative reports released on assemblies for Black students at Bunnell Elementary School

In August, a Bunnell Elementary School teacher planned assemblies targeting “lower-performing” Black students. His plan to “raise student achievement" backfired.

BUNNELL, Fla. — First Coast News is learning more about an investigation into controversial assemblies at a Flagler County school that resulted in resignations from both a teacher and principal.

The district's Office of Professional Standards released final reports from the investigation Monday.

In August, Bunnell Elementary School teacher Anthony Hines planned assemblies targeting “lower-performing” African-American students, but his plan to “raise student achievement” backfired.

At the end of the program, he told the fourth and fifth graders they would end up “going to jail, being shot or going to an grave” if they don’t follow the rules and get their grades up.

Principal Donelle Evensen reviewed the PowerPoint contents of the assemblies previously but did not know about the comments Hines planned to make afterwards.

Hines said to investigators he “spilled his heart” to the group because he thought it would help the students but now he realizes he shouldn't have said anything his principal didn't approve of.

Parents encouraged their children to show support of Principal Evensen by wearing green. Nonetheless, she resigned, along with Hines.

Superintendent LaShakia Moore issued a statement with the reports: 

"The final reports from our Office of Professional Standards have now been made available to the public. My message is the same as I’ve told the parents of Bunnell Elementary Schools: this was unacceptable. We will do better, and that begins with transparency and training for all our staff, administrators, and educators. This incident was not indicative of Flagler Schools, and we have much to do to regain the trust of many in our community. This process starts on September 27th, when we host a Community Connection forum at the Carver Center, starting at 6:00 p.m. I look forward to an open line of communication among our entire Flagler County community."

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