Crazy Talk: 'Young Black Thugs' Need to Die

These are the sentiments of a school psychologist in a district that's already under scrutiny for its treatment of African-American students.

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Mark Traina's Twitter Feed

"ANOTHER YOUNG BLACK MALE THUG-NEEDS TO DIE-I PRAY THAT THE VICTIMS FRIENDS GET TO HIM 1ST. SO THE POLICE WON'T HAVE TO KILL HIM"; "We are faced with a young Black Army of Thugs who have declared War on the American Way of Life-Holding America Hostage as we speak"; "Young Black Thugs who won't follow the law need to be put down not incarcerated. Put down like the Dogs they are!"

These aren't just the social networking rants of a random angry racist. They're the words of school psychologist Mark Traina, who, judging by the tone of his comments, could use some counseling himself.  

It gets worse, though: Gawker reports that Traina works for a school district in Jefferson Parish, La., that has been the subject of a civil rights complaint alleging that it "sends a disproportionate number of black and disabled students to alternative schools to languish for months." And guess what one of his responsibilities is? Weighing in on which students to send to those alternative schools. Sounds like he might be in the perfect position to implement his fantasy of seeing black males "incarcerated" or "put down" -- or as close to it as possible.

But hopefully not for long. According to Gawker, school Superintendent James Meza said he's aware of a Southern Poverty Law Center complaint regarding Traina and will begin an investigation into Traina's conduct. And the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights will be sending representatives to the Jefferson Parish school system this week.

Traina has responded to the allegations in comment threads on NOLA.com, calling the response to his comments "just another way to harass the Jefferson Parish Public School System," and arguing that "one only needs to read the Times Picayune to see who the real troublemakers are. Sadly, it is disproportionately young black males."  

Traina added (surprise!), "I don't have a prejudiced bone in my body. I'm not a racist ... " It's just a hunch, but we're pretty sure that's not going to be enough to "put down" the controversy.

Read more at Gawker.

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