An official of the Montgomery County NAACP chapter complained to the county Board of Education last night that three black students have been "physically attacked" by physical education teachers at a Silver Spring junior high school in the last year.
Eule Odum, chairwoman of the chapter's education committee, told the board at one of its regular meetings that the three incidents, two of which she said necessitated medical attention, occurred at White Oak Junior High and that inappropriate disciplinary action was taken against the teachers in at least two of the cases.
The third incident, which she said occurred last Wednesday, still is being investigated, according to Superintendent Edward Andrews.
None of the teachers allegedly involved in any of the incidents was named. Stephen Rohr, the school system's personnel director, told a reporter later that an incident last October in which a black student allegedly was slammed repeatedly against a glass door braced with a metal bar was investigated and that "some form of appropriate action" had been taken.
He declined to say what that action was.
Rohr said he had not heard of another incident, in which Odum said a black youth had been pushed over two chairs during a dodgeball game last May and suffered contusions.
A school directory lists six physical education teachers assiged to White Oak.
Rohr said all are still teaching there.
Odum's comments came during an unprecedented meeting between NAACP representatives and the board to discuss a wide range of topics.
In addition to the complaints about White Oak, the representatives complained that blacks were disproportionately suspended from school and were underrepresented in the county's popular program for gifted and talented students. Black students make up 13 percent of the overall school population and 5.2 percent of those in the gifted and talented program.
NAACP chapter president Roscoe Nix said that at one high school 90 of the 150 students suspended this academic year were black. The high school was later identified as Bethesda-Chevy Chase, which three years ago was the subject of an investigation of suspension of black students. The minority enrollment there is 18.2 percent
Andrews acknowledged that suspensions are a continuing problem in the system, but said the proportion of blacks suspended is decreasing.
According to Odum, during the October incident at White Oak, a black student had made a $5 bet with a physical education teacher that he had been given permission to leave a classroom by another teacher. According to Odum, the physical education teacher lost the bet and the student began asking the teacher for his money each time he saw him. When the student asked the teacher again for his money on Oct. 6, the incident occurred, and, Odum said, the student required medical treatment.
White Oak Principal John Schneider was out of town and could not be reached for comment. Personnel Director Rohr said he would not discuss specifics of the October incident.
In the latest incident, Odum said, a young girl was placed under sedatives after a female gym teacher ripped a gold necklace and portable stereo headphone away from her during an after-school softball program. Andrews said he is scheduled to meet today with the teacher who is the subject of that complaint.
In other business, the board voted to reconsider whether to place a unit on contraception in eighth grade health classes. The former board, whose majority was ousted in last November's elections, had voted not to teach the subject to eighth graders.