Local NAACP makes hiring discrimination allegations

A local chapter of the NAACP is claiming discrimination in hiring in Horry County schools and county government.

At a press conference Wednesday, one leader of the Conway NAACP chapter said there's not a level playing field for qualified African American candidates.

Abdullah Mustafa, who has claimed the title of president of the Conway chapter, said there are too few minority teachers and coaches in the county school system.

Mustafa says he wants to talk about the issue with school board members and the superintendent, because qualified minority teacher candidates were not given a chance to be hired.

"There's been several in the past I know for a fact because I have given resumes, credentialed resumes, qualified resumes, to the school district and those folks were never called," Mustafa said.

In response, school district spokesperson Teal Britton said it would be ideal if the ethnicity of the district's teachers perfectly mirrored the student population.

"We have a responsibility to our students to seek the most qualified applicant for each open position and we routinely expand recruiting efforts to target under-represented audiences," Britton said in a statement emailed to WPDE NewsChannel 15.

Mustafa also claims Horry County government has denied job interviews to qualified minority applicants.

"What's very important is that it be an even playing field, but how can it be an even playing field if you're not allowing the people inside the door?"

But Mustafa says he has talked with Horry County officials about hiring more minorities and they are listening.

"That is a plus, because this is something the NAACP has not done is reach out to these entities and that's the first thing we have to do, is reach out to them," he said.

Horry County spokesperson Lisa Bourcier gave WPDE NewsChannel 15 a statement that says the county is an equal opportunity employer and has a policy of nondiscrimination in respect to its employees. Bourcier said employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability or genetic information.

There is a disagreement about whether Mustafa is actually president of the Conway NAACP chapter.

Mustafa won an election held in December, but a complaint was filed about the results.

National NAACP leaders were not available Wednesday, as their Washington DC offices were closed due to inclement weather.