Franklin Community Forum Will Focus on Alleged Discrimination in School System

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Doctor Kenneth Jackson was the fifth principal at Franklin Simpson High School in seven years. He resigned June 30. Jackson says he didn't want to give up his position, but quote "felt he couldn't work in a place where there are inconsistencies in how other people are treated." That's because in his time at Franklin-Simpson Jackson says he witnessed prejudice in how some employees were treated.

Now the Franklin-Simpson Human Rights Commission is investigating. And they plan to hold a community forum to bring these allegations to light.

Pastor William Locke says: "This has really opened up a can of worms here."

Locke says he doesn't believe Franklin is a racist town, but he feels there are discrepancies in how people are treated.

Locke says: "We're investigating allegations of discrimination in the school system."

In light of the allegations, the Franklin Human Rights Commission is holding a community wide forum where issues concerning prejudice will be brought out in the open.

Locke says: "There's some thing that have happened within the school system that the public is not aware of. Cover up tactics have been used and the public need to be aware."

The Chair of the Simpson County Board of Education, Debbie Hudson, says they knew about the forum but had no idea it was going to be about discrimination.

Debbie Hudson says: "I was under the impression that it was going to be on how the school was run and questions along that line."

Hudson says she and other board members plan on attending the meeting at Elevated Baptist Church Friday night. She says she doesn't think there is a problem with discrimination in the school system.

Hudson says: "I wouldn't say I'd really noticed any kind of prejudice. I know there's always been issues, but not to the point of being very disruptive or anything like that."

Pastor Locke says it will be a peaceful meeting aimed at making sure everyone is treated fairly.

Locke says: "It's not going to be a hostile meeting. We're not going to let that happen. And I want to warn people of that before they come with their attitudes."

The forum will begin Friday at 6 p.m. at the Elevated Baptist Church in Franklin. Everyone is invited to attend.