On Saturday, the Sun-Sentinel reported the Broward County School Board will discuss, “Potentially racist school names” in the City of Plantation. Reporter Scott Travis wrote School Board Member requested the matter be discussed this week. Osgood stated “she’s open to reviewing any school names that have ‘any racial undertones or any type of connotation that causes hurt for a group of people.’”

In addition to the schools with “Plantation” in its name, Osgood wants to discuss schools with “Broward” in its title. According to the Sun-Sentinel, Osgood claimed Napoleon Bonaparte Broward was a “racist governor.” Are Broward public schools even teaching students about Florida Governors?

Osgood’s attacks come after media stories about one man starting a petition to change the name of the City of Plantation. While Plantation Mayor Lynn Stoner and the vast majority of residents oppose the name change, School Board Chair Donna Korn stated the school names could be changed. “Every city doesn’t necessarily have a school named after it,” Korn told the Sun-Sentinel. “Regardless of what the city does, we can determine what our community is looking for when it comes to naming schools.”

School Board Member Robin Bartleman, a candidate for the FL House of Representatives, welcomes the name change discussion. “We need to have a conversation with the community and stakeholders,” Bartleman said.

Funny, did Bartleman, Korn, and Bartleman ever have a conversation with a fellow Board Member about her racist comments?

ANN MURRAY: NOT HAPPY WITH “N***ER-HEAVEN” SEATS

In March 2011, Bob Norman broke the news regarding School Board Member Ann Murray’s admission to using the N word while working in the school transportation office. “But that didn’t stop her from letting racial slurs fly out of her mouth, according to complaints and testimony from several school district transportation employees, both black and white. Murray admitted to using the n word and was issued a written reprimand for ‘a serious breach of conduct that will not be tolerated’ that violated the board’s antidiscriminatory rules,” Norman wrote. The incident occurred in early 2007 near the Super Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium.

While working at the board’s base of operations at Calder Race Track for that game held between the Giants and Patriots, Murray — a white woman who speaks in a heavy accent from her native Boston — was speaking with fellow supervisor Lisa Spince, who is white, about going to a previous Dolphins football game at what is now called Sun Life Stadium. Nearby were three black school bus drivers.

Spince reported in a written statement to the board that Murray said: “Do you remember when a group of us from transportation came down to watch a Bills game? Yeah, they had us up in nigger heaven.”

Spince, who now works for a school district in Georgia, told me that she was “shocked and offended” at what she’d heard and that the black bus drivers appeared visibly upset. She asked Murray, “What did you say?”

According to Norman, Spince stated she tried to comfort a visibly upset black employee who overheard Murray. I

“I put my arm around her to comfort her,” Spince wrote in her statement to the board. “The [driver] told me that she was very mad because that was not the first time that Ms. Murray had used the ‘N’ word. She told me that she was going to report Ms. Murray.”

Following an investigation, the Transportation Department issued its findings.

“During the investigation, sufficient evidence existed, including your own admittance to corroborate that you did indeed use a derogatory term, ‘nigger,’ in the presence of subordinates,” wrote then-school district Transportation Director Lucille Green. “You have failed to meet the performance standards required of your position as Terminal Supervisor… Please be advised that any further failure on your part to perform to the standards… of your job duties will result in further disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.”

One year later, Murray was elected to the School Board.

So what happened after Bob Norman revealed Ann Murray’s use of racial slurs?

Esteemed local reporter Michael Putney called on Murray to resign.

Then, a local member of the Democratic Black Caucus spoke to Murray. According to the New Times, Murray said, “You all do not know if I have black blood in my family. I cannot make up for what happened 400 years ago. I know that some of you all are just sensitive but I have been called names, whitey and honky. I just brushed it off.

But the Democrat Party was silent.

Even worse, the members of the Broward School Board did nothing. In 2011, Robin Bartleman, Laurie Rich Levinson, Nora Rupert and Jennifer Gottlieb served with Ann Murray.

ANN MURRAY ENOYS “WHITE PRIVILEGE?”

Flash forward to June 2020. Last week, the Sun-Sentinel reported Ann Murray posted a “white privilege” meme on her personal Facebook page. According to Scott Travis, “About 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Murray’s Facebook page shared a post from another user with the meme, ‘When I was born, they must have ran out of white privilege because I had to work my ass off to get where I am.’” Murray made the incredulous claim that a “hacker” posted the meme on her Facebook account. Ok.

So what do Ann Murray’s fellow Board Members have to say this time?

Radio silence as usual. Except from Rosalind Osgood. She may think Plantation is racist, but Ann Murray is just swell in her book.

From the Sun-Sentinel:

Rosalind Osgood, the only Black member of the Broward School Board, said she didn’t know Murray back when she used the “n-word” but has found her to be supportive of Black children and community members.

Osgood said she was surprised Sunday when she saw the post on Murray’s Facebook page.

“I called Ann and said I was not happy. She said she was hacked,” Osgood said. “I have to go by my interactions and dealings with her and have not found her to be racist, so that’s how I can accept she was hacked.”

And these are the leaders in charge of our children’s education?

But wait, there’s more. Lots more…

Stay tuned.

Published by Tom Lauder

Covering South Florida Politics Since 2010...As Seen On: POLITICO, The Huffington Post, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, The Miami Herald, WPLG LOCAL 10 (ABC MIAMI), The New Times

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