LANSING – State Representative Sheldon Neeley (D-Flint) was pleased to hear from Florida state Senator Dwight Bullard (D-Miami), chairman of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus, that steps are being taken to address the discrimination a group of Flint-area high school students and their chaperones experienced during a college tour of the South. In response to hearing about the problems, Rep. Neeley – along with fellow Rep. Phil Phelps (D-Flushing) and Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint) – sent a letter to the Florida Legislature demanding action be taken against the Econo Lodge and Wendy’s in Live Oak, Fla. Since then, Rep. Neeley has had a discussion with the owner of Wendy’s and a correspondence has been received from both Wendy’s and Econo Lodge.
“While the hatred and bigotry these students felt when their bus broke down can never be forgiven, action can be taken to address these issues so they will never happen again,” Neeley said. “I’m proud of my colleagues in the Florida Legislature for understand the need for action and taking the steps to show these young men and women that in today’s day and age, racism will not be tolerated.”
Sen. Bullard met with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi today to seek guidance on the steps that need to be taken. Bullard stated that his office would remain in contact with Rep. Neeley’s office during the process, and it is likely that Bondi would be reaching out to the chaperones from the trip.
“I look forward to further discussions with Sen. Bullard and Attorney General Bondi as this situation is rectified,” Neeley said. “It’s important that when people discriminate through words or actions, they feel the consequences of those poor choices.”