The former superintendent of a Georgia school district accused of using racist language often displayed “irrational and volatile” behavior and even threatened to kill employees, according to a recent court filing.
The filing, included as part of a racial discrimination suit, claims former Buford, Ga., schools chief Geye Hamby routinely used foul language and used racial slurs on occasion when referring to Black employees, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
The accusations came to light during a pretrial deposition by Banks Bitterman, the former principal of Buford High School.
“He’d lose his temper in a heartbeat and yell, ‘I’m going to kill that [expletive],'” Bitterman said of Hamby. “I’m going to kill this. I’m going to kill, kill, kill. I’m going to [expletive] that person, [expletive] this person.”
Hamby stepped down as Buford’s superintendent last summer when he was caught on tape ranting about wanting to kill Black construction workers who had angered him. The secret recordings were attached to a lawsuit filed by Mary Ingram, a former Buford school system employee.
“[Expletive] that [n-word]. I’ll kill these [expletive] — shoot that [expletive)] if they let me,” the person, who the complaint identified as Hamby, is heard saying. “Alright. Well, check out what’s going on with all these (n-word) out here.”
Hamby then proceeds to refer to Black people as “deadbeat [n-words].”
The allegations didn’t stop there, however.
Ingram, who filed the discrimination suit against Hamby in August 2018, argued that she was fired from the district in June 2017 in the culmination of a retaliation campaign that began after her 2014 suggestion that gold — the color of Buford’s all-Black school before the district was integrated — be included in the school system’s colors.
Bitterman, who resigned from Buford High in June 2017, says in the lawsuit that Hamby would become agitated when Ingram showed up to school board meetings with petitions asking that the school system’s colors be updated.
“I don’t know what the hell her problem is,” the superintendent said of Ingram, according to Bitterman. He testified that Hamby once said “f–ck her,” referring to Ingram.
Moreover, Bitterman recalled an instance where Hamby referred to an assistant principal, who is African-American, as a “black sow” and called another Black woman “a black crack [whore], or something like that.”
“He truly led by fear and intimidation,” Bitterman said of Hamby, who earned a $308,000 salary. “Heck, anybody in that central office can tell you.”
Ingram’s lawsuit is currently headed to trial.