Brandon Bobb was appointed an assistant principal at Eunice High and Melanie Durio was appointed to a similar post at Beau Chene.
The Eunice High post has been vacant some time, activist and retired educator Clifton Lemelle noted, while the system waited on Bobb, an administrative assistant at EHS, to complete necessary administrative certification.
Lemelle, on behalf of a group of protesters, including members of a New Black Panther Party, said the group will be insistent that the board put more black, particularly black male, faces in classrooms and school offices.
Some of his group carried signs calling for firing Supt. Michael Nassif, claiming schools are going in the wrong academic direction under his leadership.
Nassif did not comment.
Regarding personnel, Lemelle said about 30 of 130 teachers, about 23 percent, in Eunice schools are black while the student population is closer to 40 percent black. He complained there are no black principals in the elementary schools.
Principals at Glendale, East, Highland and Eunice Elementary Schools are white. Principals at Central Middle School and Eunice Junior High are black. The Eunice High principal is white.
No information was immediately available on how many teacher vacancies occurred at Eunice schools this year or in recent years, and whether they were filled with white or black applicants.
Also, no information was immediately available on how many black male teachers have applied for employment this year or in recent years in the parish and how many are employed in the system.
Attracting black men to the teaching profession, though, is a national problem and such prominent blacks as filmmaker Spike Lee are campaigning to convince more to go into education careers.
According to the U.S. Dept. of Education, there are about 80,000 black males -- less than 2 percent -- among the nation’s 4.8 million public school teachers. Black males, nationally, make up 9 percent of the public school enrollment, though that percentage is considerably higher in some systems, including St. Landry.
“This is not the last time we will be by here,” Lemelle told the board. “We will be visiting these schools and contacting parents.”
New Black Panther Party member Joe Lawrence of Eunice said his group will continue to push its cause and has plans to protest outside of Nassif’s office, church and Palmetto home.