When parents send their children to school, it is with the hope that school administrators have the children’s best interest at heart. So it came as a shock to the city of Buford, Georgia, that Buford City School Superintendent Geye Hambry was caught on tape making virulent, violent and racist remarks toward Blacks.
The tape was released as part of the evidence in a racial discrimination lawsuit against the school system by a Black woman named Mary Ingram, 66, a former 18-year employee and paraprofessional. She and Hambry had a disagreement over something as simple as the school emblem and history.
According to The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Ingram stated that the current color scheme of green and white did not reflect an agreement that was reached when the school system desegregated in 1969. It was agreed that the new emblem for the school system would also incorporate gold to reflect that Black students were finally allowed to integrate. Ingram was one of the first few Black students to graduate from the system in 1970, and like her fellow graduates still living wanted that history memorialized.
Ingram spoke at city council and school board meetings as far back as 2014, asking that the decades-old agreement be honored. It was a heated subject and, according to Ingram, Hamby retaliated by giving her terrible performance reviews, when in the past she had stellar ones. After two years of enduring a hostile work environment, she was fired on June 14, 2017. Her termination letter stated that she was “perceived as being disrespectful, argumentative and unfriendly and not a good fit in a school environment.”
The recent audio recording has shocked the community and now there is a petition calling for Hamby to resign from his $300,000 a year job. Surprisingly, the district has only four schools with a student body of around 4,800 students, making Hambry one of the highest-paid local school superintendents in Georgia.
So far school board officials have stated that the authenticity of the tape has to be verified before comments can be made. Lawyers for Ingram have not stated how they came in possession of the tape.
The audio can be heard below and contains graphic language.