NAACP leaders call on Whiteville school board chairwoman to resign after assault conviction

By: - November 7, 2023 6:30 pm
a photo of the Whiteville City Schools Board of Education members

Whiteville City Schools Board of Education. Kandle Rogers (Bottom right) – Photo: Whiteville City Schools

The Columbus County NAACP and North Carolina State NAACP have called on Whiteville City Schools Board of Education Chairwoman Kandle Rogers to resign after she was found guilty of assaulting a government worker in late August. Nishawn Pridgen also told authorities that Rodgers called him a racial slur during the Aug. 31 incident.

As reported by several media outlets, Pridgen was placing traffic cones along a roadway during Hurricane Idalia’s flooding when Rogers approached a barricade, got out of her SUV and removed one of the cones. After Rogers returned to her SUV,  Pridgen replaced the cone. That’s when Rogers became irate. She reportedly cursed Pridgen, threatened to have him arrested and scratched him when she grabbed his wrist.

“These actions are not becoming of an official elected to represent our children, and it’s unacceptable for Ms. Rogers to continue to serve in this position,” said Curtis Hill, president of the Columbus County NAACP. “An elected official of that stature is not only making decisions about the kids but also who to hire, and we’re concerned given the nature of the crime, race plays a factor in her decisions.”

Rogers received a 60-day suspended sentence, was instructed to perform 20 hours community service and ordered to pay court costs. She has appealed the verdict.

Rogers has served as the chair of Whiteville City Schools Board of Education since 2020, when she was voted 3-2 by the Board to replace Coleman Barbour. She previously served in the position before Barbour replaced her in December 2016.

Earlier this year, former Columbus County sheriff Jody Greene resigned after a recording was leaked of him making racist comments about his deputies. Greene was also accused of other misconduct.

“We’ve already endured racism at the highest levels of this community, and Columbus County is making strides to be better — we can’t do that with people like Ms. Rogers at the helm of one of our school districts,” Hill said.

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Greg Childress
Greg Childress

Education Reporter Greg Childress covers all aspects of public education in North Carolina, including debates over school funding, curricula, privatization, and teacher pay and licensing.