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Former Sandy Springs Principal Pens Fiction Book on Racist Culture Titled ‘Hoodless Klan’

Dr. Ruth L. Baskerville was removed from her position at Woodland Elementary in 2011. Last weekend, she returned to North Fulton for a booksigning on "Hoodless Klan: The Racial Takeover of Pine Woods Charter Elementary School."

 

Two years ago, former Woodland Elementary principal Ruth Baskerville had no reason to think her life would change dramatically. In April 2011, she was removed from her position and agreed to retire after 42 years in education, amid questions raised over outbursts with students and staff.

Baskerville and her husband, Waverly, returned to their permanent home in Florida. Waverly encouraged Baskerville to journal on her exit from Woodland. The former principal says they soon realized she had material for a novel. 

Last Saturday, Baskerville signed copies of her book, “Hoodless Klan: The Racial Takeover of Pine Woods Charter Elementary School,” at Northeast Spruill Oaks Library, in Johns Creek. The back cover of the book says the story, which takes place in an affluent suburb of a major city, is inspired by actual events.

“I was a charter school principal for four years and my experiences inspired the book,” said Baskerville. “Like all authors you write about what you know. I created characters and events to move the story along.”

What's Your Take After Learning About Baskerville's Book? Tell us in the comments below.

Baskerville made the trip to metro Atlanta without Waverly. He died suddenly on March 13. They were married for 44 years. Earlier that morning the couple received news that Baskerville’s book would be published.

“He knew I was accepted as an author. I had every day and every night with my husband for almost a year that I would not have had if I hadn’t lost my job,” Baskerville said.

Q: Did you choose the title because of your experiences; because race is such a hot topic?

A: The reality of what happened [to me] was about the power of money. I had enough race experiences in my career to include that in the story. My original sin [at Woodland] was raising my voice to a child, so that didn’t on the face of it appear to be racial but it was a ploy because a group had decided I had to go; so they were waiting for an opportunity.

Q: What do you mean by the title ‘Hoodless Klan?’

A: There are scenarios in this country where people are in your face with racial comments and don’t attempt to hide. So my [title] was referring to the fact that they don’t even wear hoods, back to the KKK days. There are people who are hoodless.

 Q: The Loathsome Letter” is the first chapter of Baskerville’s book, in which a newly hired principal learns of a letter circulating from concerned parents. When did you first feel a sense of discomfort at Woodland?

A: I had only been there four months and a community group circulated a document all over Fulton County saying that I needed to go; they needed to have a meeting to get rid of me, and I was without polish and credentials, and didn’t understand their ways. My boss brought it to my attention.

Q: What’s it like to work under those circumstances?

A: When people have a predisposition that you are no good. Nothing you do good matters, but they will take everything you do that is good. I was picked to mentor new principals almost from the day I got there. I was also on a committee to talk about how to salute retirees. We made a presentation to the board the very night the board went into closed session and voted to terminate me.

Q: What is your response to people who may think they are depicted in your book?

A: Hopefully people who see themselves [will] see themselves as wonderful characters in the book. If not, perhaps it’s their own conscience...My book is fiction.

See also:

Questions Mount Regarding Woodland Principal's Removal

Fulton County Schools to Retire Woodland Principal

Parents Told Woodland Elementary Principal is Gone

New Woodland Elementary Principal Named

"E Pluribus Unum" December 11, 2012 at 04:35 AM
It's interesting to see the terms "fiction" and "controversial" in the two headlines for this story. Why? Because there is nothing fictional about racism in our country. It permeates every segment of our society and to claim otherwise is "fiction." With respect to "controversial" and how the word is used, it's considered controversial to speak truth to power? So the former principal stands up and paints the reality of racism in good old white populated John's Creek and she is considered controversial. The controversy is that this crap still goes on in our country today. The controversy is to see how older white men in the RP are so confused, scared and are drowning in a deep pit of anger and denial...that's real controversy.
Crash December 11, 2012 at 12:23 PM
Racism is a double edged sword. It cuts both ways. In DeKalb County it's the whites who are discriminated against.
Kelly Castleberry December 11, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Woodland is not in John's Creek, just so ya know. It's right on the border of Fulton and DeKalb in Sandy Springs. Sure, racism exists everywhere, but we don't have to play that game. Jesus said "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," not only if they treat you that way first, but all the time, no matter what. If we could all remember this one thing, I think we could erase a lot of society's ills. Unconditional forgiveness and giving go a long way in healing each other and especially ourselves. As for being qualified to be a principal of a school, I'd prefer that they could speak in complete sentences... YIKES! "Q: What’s it like to work under those circumstances? A: When people have a predisposition that you are no good. Nothing you do good matters, but they will take everything you do that is good. I was picked to mentor new principals almost from the day I got there. I was also on a committee to talk about how to salute retires. We made a presentation to the board the very night the board went into closed session and voted to terminate me."
"E Pluribus Unum" December 11, 2012 at 02:52 PM
I only wonder how someone might feel about this if they were black and not white. As far as whites being the discriminated group in our society? Hahahahahah, that's funny. It's also sad if someone really believes that. BTW...all the new cities in metro Atlanta (and Dekalb) are examples of modern day "white flight" IMHO. If whites were really being discriminated against, I don't believe this would happen.
B Marco January 01, 2013 at 06:33 PM
please note that the statement you are referring to was not in quotes... so is not directly attributable to the ex-principal .... rather it is a paraphrase of what she said.. and the error is that of the editor or author of article ...

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