Emotions boil over in Hamilton County School board meeting regarding potential migrant children

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CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee- Emotions flared between two school board members during the Hamilton County school board meeting surrounding the potential of migrant children in Chattanooga.
“Children first, well it’s Hamilton County children first for me. And I will not apologize, I will not be called a racist,” said school board member Ronda Thurman.
“I didn’t,” said School board member Karitsa Jones.

“yes you did,” said Thurman.

A discussion surrounding the potential of migrant children from the border attending Hamilton County schools turned to anger.

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“I didn’t call you a racist ma’am, no I didn’t call you a racist but hate dogs do holler But I never called you a racist,” said Jones.

The comment comes from Jones speaking to the school board saying they need to be sensitive regarding the migrant children and the law says students need to be educated.

“By law, we have a legal obligation to educate our children once they are residents here in Hamilton County,” said Jones.

Thurman agreed Jones didn’t say racist, but Thurman says she feels implied.

“We’re talking about students, we’re talking about children when I talk about children I don’t talk about race. I just want to talk about the students of Hamilton County and I’m tired of all the talk about race all The time, let’s just look at them as students,” said Thurman.

Jones said this is an attack on her character.

“I am not a person to call anybody that I believe people have a right to believe and feel and have opinions on whatever they believe in. Have an opinion of it, I did not call her that which is why I got so upset, that was a blatant lie,” said Jones.

As for the migrant children attending Hamilton County School superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson said it’s too early to know if there are migrant kids or if they would be coming to Hamilton county schools as he has heard everything third hand.

Hamilton County schools said The Baptiste Group has agreed to speak with the school system Tuesday to see where it is heading.