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NAACP concerns over Lee Co schools firing minority employees

Posted at 5:13 PM, Aug 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-23 17:13:54-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The NAACP in Lee County showed concern, Tuesday, over the school district firing black employees.

Tavaris Gary, former baseball coach at North Fort Myers High School, had a meeting at the Lee County School District, Tuesday, to discuss getting his job back with the HR director and professional standards director. He was fired in June after failing to do a headcount of his players after an away game, leaving two students stranded at LaBelle High School. The NAACP was there to support him. "Mr. Tavaris Gary has been a very loyal employee for the school district," said Lee Co. NAACP President James Muwakill.

The meeting comes after another black employee and coach was fired at South Fort Myers High. Coach Anthony Dixon lost his job after several of his football players were caught having sex with a fifteen-year-old girl in a school restroom.

The NAACP believes the district's minority employees are being fired unfairly. "We have some concerns regarding minority teachers being let go at a time that the school district is saying they need new teachers," said Muwakill.

Muwakill believes neither deserved to be fired, decreasing the representation of African Americans in Lee County Schools. "African Americans continue to be the first group let go," he said.

A district officials said they need to look into that allegation to see if it's true before making any comment. The Florida Department of Education is looking into Gary's firing, and may reinstate him depending on their findings. "Once that investigation is over and Mr. Gary gets cleared like we think he will, then the school district will welcome him back," said Muwakill.