Miss. Middle School Bars Black Students From Running For Class President

Springer said one administrator told her students of mixed heritage had to run in the race designation of their mothers, because "minority fathers usually weren't in the home anyway."

Another teacher, she said, told her mixed race students simply were not permitted to run for office.

The school's principal who is black and the district superintendent who is white would not comment for this story.

Two of the school's four administrators are black. One of the school board's five members is black, the others are white.

More than 70 percent of the district's students are white.

A source who works for the school district but requested anonymity because she feared reprisals for talking to the media said the board would likely reverse the policy today as a result of national media attention.

The source said the policy was a reflection of the district's deep-seated "racism" and not simply a misguided attempt to ensure black students were included in student government.

"I don't think they were trying to do the right thing," said the source. "They were doing it to try to keep Caucasians in the upper level and minorities in the lower level. I don't think they were doing it just to try to give minorities a part. If that was the case they wouldn't bar blacks from being president."

"It is still racist. It's just black and white. Where do Asians and Hispanics fit it?"

The source said only a handful of teachers in the district near the state's border with Alabama were black, the high school cheerleading team was exclusively white and black students were disproportionately punished for violations of school rules.

A document obtained by ABC News indicates that at the district's high school, both a black and white homecoming queen are crowned. "That's because there are some people who still believe a black girl can't represent the school," said the source.

There was no mention in Taylor's statement today about ending the practice of crowning black and white queens.

Nsombi Lambright, executive director of the Mississippi branch of the ACLU, said there are "certain small pockets of the state where there continue to be majority white school populations where remnants of Jim Crow remain on the books. Some school continue to have separate proms and homecoming courts. They've never been challenged or forced to become more equitable."

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