Florida principal resigns after holding Black-only assembly, telling students to improve test scores or ‘end up in jail’

A Florida elementary school principal has resigned several weeks after African American students were singled out with an assembly where they were told to improve their academic performance — or face the consequences later in life.

“Donelle Evensen, principal at Bunnell Elementary School, has informed Superintendent LaShakia Moore that she is resigning,” the Flagler County school district said Thursday in a news release.

Evensen and teacher Anthony Hines were placed on leave days after the Aug. 18 assembly, during which the school’s Black fourth- and fifth-graders were collectively told to improve test scores — regardless of their individual performance.

Flagler County School Board chair Cheryl Massaro told CNN in August that a PowerPoint slide described how African American students had underperformed on standardized tests the last three years.

“If you don’t improve, you could end up in jail or the victim of gun violence,” a presenter at the assembly told the children, according to WESH.

Kids were also promised fast food rewards if they boosted their scores.

Parents were outraged after hearing about the assembly, leading to Superintendent Moore apologizing at a press conference last month.

“You left the white children to continue their education, and the Black children had to go out to be talked to about the consequences of not being successful,” a parent, who did not want to be identified, told WESH last month.

The school district said Thursday it expected an investigation into the assembly, which Moore launched last month, to be completed soon. It should come with what punishment — if any — Hines will face.

“There’s so many red flags that were missed. It even made the teachers uncomfortable when they received her email about sending the African American students down [to the assembly],” parent Jacinda Arrington told WESH.

Other parents have appreciated how Moore has handled the situation, but want her to speak to the kids.

“An apology needs to be given to our students. Not necessarily just to us. They were the ones who were directly affected by it,” a parent told the station.

Bunnell Elementary School is located in Bunnell, about 70 miles south of Jacksonville.