New Sumter County School Superintendent is allegedly Anti-Black

August 2019, editorials

Attention all school parents and advocates, we have some very disappointing news concerning Dr. Torrance Choates, the newly hired school superintendent. We spoke with many Baker County’s citizens who said Choates was a terrible superintendent. Allegedly, there were clashes with parents and students.

He worked in Pelham, Georgia, before moving to Thomasville, Georgia, and then on to Newton, GA (Baker County). According to the informers, Choates was mean and hateful toward Black parents and the students. Several times
he called the police on parents. Choates made parents and students to feel that they were unwelcome and many were discouraged from coming to the school, our source said.

Choates was allegedly charged with assault against a student and was reviewed by the Georgia Professional
Standards Commission. The charge against Choates was simple battery of a student.

Dr Choates was hired by a majority White school board in Baker County. But the new Baker County’s school board to be seated in January 2017 is majority Black. The new Black board allegedly informed Dr. Choates that he will be fired when they are seated in January.

Choates was welcomed by another by majority White school board in Sumter County where he will lead a predominantly Black public school system. We don’t think he will be happy here if his alleged anti-black tendencies persist. His alleged anti-black position toward Black parents, students, and staff will not be tolerated by parents and students in Sumter County.

We suffered in Sumter County under Dr Roy Brooks who was one of the worst superintendents we have ever had. Brooks’ loyalty was only to the White majority but he was very hostile to the Black community. Brooks was forced out of Little Rock, Arkansas by a Black school board majority.

Similarly, Dr Torrance Choates is being run out of Newton, Georgia by an incoming Black majority board. He comes with many allegations of anti-Black behavior just as Roy Brooks did. We expect to have a Black majority board again, if Dr. Choates comes here with what we are hearing then he will be packing his bags.

A note of encouragement: The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the Albany Federal Court’s decision that was ruled against us. NAACP president Rev Matt Wright and the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) challenged the redistricting of our Sumter County school system. Hopefully, we will return to seven single school districts, which will result in a Black majority school board.