Education

Governor appoints white female to represent historic black school board district

December 1, 2017

Today, Governor Rick Scott announced the appointment of Lee Hansen to the School Board of Escambia County.

Hansen, 59, is the founder of the Global Corner International Learning Center and a 26-year United States Navy Veteran. She served as the Commanding Officer of Training Squadron Four and was the first woman to Command an Air Wing in the Navy. She received her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Florida State University and her master’s degree in International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh. Hansen is appointed to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Linda Moultrie, for a term beginning Dec. 1, 2017 and ending Nov.20, 2018.

The reaction within the African American community is one of shock and disbelief. The District 3 was created after a Elmer Jenkins, the first African American instructor at Pensacola Junior College, and others filed a lawsuit in 1977 lawsuit that led to the elimination of the area’s at-large voting system. The old system allowed all county residents to vote for all seats on the county commission, city council and school board, which insured that citizens in predominately black areas could never garner enough votes to elect black officials to represent them.

Jenkins was elected in 1986 as the District 3 representative on the Escambia County School Board. He held the position until 2002.

One black community leader told Inweekly tonight, “This sets race relations in Pensacola back 30 years.”

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6 Comments

  • Reply Moose December 4, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    [One black community leader told Inweekly tonight, “This sets race relations in Pensacola back 30 years.”]

    Really? “One black community leader?”

    Well, “some” people believe that acting on the belief that someone is unqualified for a leadership position because they are a different race is racist.

    Which, if he or she is a leader in the black community begs the question, does the community feel that leader represents their feelings as well?

  • Reply Ross Calloway December 4, 2017 at 12:38 am

    For an un-named “black community leader” to claim that filling this temporary position “sets race relations in Pensacola back 30 years” is ridiculous. Like the article and the law says, when the next election comes up at the end of the term, the people in the district will once again be able to vote for whoever they want. No problem. The reality is, the Gov. appointed someone to fill a vacancy in Dist 3, which would not have been necessary if Linda Moultrie, who is Black, had not quit. I don’t think leaving the position vacant until next year would be a good option, no matter the skin color.

    Who is this un-named black community leader that is so focused on skin color, regardless of another election next year? Actually, Barack Obama has done more in his eight years to retard race relations than the governor has by filling a temporary position.

  • Reply CJ Lewis December 2, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    Rather than the African-American community expressing “shock and disbelief,” they should be expressing “shock and awe” that such a highly qualified person was appointed.

  • Reply L. Laird December 2, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    Gov Rick$$ Scott & Trump really do not care about black Americans. Well, hello, District 3 voters,, I do hope you will vote this scott appointee out in Nov 2018, and also vote for Senator Nelson who would never appoint a Mrs Jim Crow to represent your District 3… You will over come someday, but you have to get out and vote the crows out of office.

    • Reply Bill December 4, 2017 at 8:53 am

      So because her skin color is white she is a “Mrs. Jim Crow”? Based on the brief bio that Rick provided she seems immensely qualified for the position.

  • Reply Mark Dwellers December 2, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    And what if it were an African American member of the community appointed to a mostly white district?

    This is absurdity.

    Write a blog worth reading, Rick!

    What about local candidates loaning their campaign $1.5 million dollars? This is odd. This state house member only has a net worth of $2.4 million, mostly in stock and real estate. Where did the money come from? Why don’t write about things like that? How elections are bought?

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