Controversial racial issue persists in Mason


Tribune News Service

RACIAL TENSION. One of the community members who came to the board meeting wore a shirt with the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the front. The person told The Enquirer that they received many looks of disgust. This once again hints at the racial tension that is building within our neighboring community.

  Mason teacher Ms. Renee Thole, who was reprimanded and removed from her classroom until she completed sensitivity training after comments made to one of her students, returned to school on Thurs., Jan. 25.

  Her return sparked much controversy within the community as many parents called for Thole to be fired.

  On Tues., Jan. 23, Tanisha Agee-Bell, after hearing these cries for Thole’s permanent removal, spoke out at the school’s first board meeting since the incident where Thole had told Agee-Bell’s son that his friends would lynch him if he did not complete his assignment.

   ”I never wanted her fired,” Agee-Bell said.

  During the meeting, many other members of Mason’s African American community also came forth to speak about their experience with racial issues.

   One of them was Amaya King. King, who had been asked by a white teacher on the first day of school if she would allow the teacher to touch her hair, spoke of her embarrassment at the time.

  As one of many speakers about the underlying racism in the community, King urged the Mason Board to “do the right thing.”

  While King and Agee-Bell spoke about their side of the story, the school board was also spoken to by white nationalist Robert Ransdell. Ransdell defended Thole and her actions and claimed that the racial controversy sparking in Mason was being fueled by anti-white and anti-police media.

  “The problem is the criminal, the thugs on the street-not the police,” Ransdell said.

   Agee-Bell brought the talk back to the Mason school district by confronting the board about their actions with Thole and encouraging them to do more in the future to prevent this.

  “While I appreciate you finally did the right thing, we will all forever wonder if it was because you recognized it was the right thing to do or because you were forced,” Agee-Bell said.