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School Psychologist
Tweets Draw
Sharp Criticisms
LSPA and LPA Respond
A Jefferson Parish school
psychologist, Mr. Mark
Traina, drew strong criticism
from a number of sources
for his comments on Twitter
and NOLA.com .
In a May 22, 2012, WDSU
News broadcast, reporters
showed Traina’s post on
Twitter. The post was,“Two
additional suspects arrested
in murder of 11-year-old
Harvey boy: Angry young
Black Males with no respect
for life! Destroying the U.S.”
Another post on Twitter was
shown,“Young Black Thugs
who won’t follow the law
need to be put down not
incarcerated. Put down, like
the dogs they are.”
On the broadcast a spokesperson
from the Southern
Poverty Law Center said
they had found a number of
comments on the Twitter
account which were “racially
hostile.” The civil rights
group has been concerned
about Jefferson Parish
school system’s treatment
another article by reporter
Mark Waller of the Times-
Picayune.
Traina told the WDSU
reporters that he was
frustrated with crime, that
he is weary about senseless
violence, and that he
is not a racist.
Responding to a question
from the Times, Dr. Kevin
Jones, Past-President of
the Louisiana School
Psychological Association
(LSPA) noted that the
national organization
issued a comment that
reflects the sentiments of
LSPA.
Director of Communications
for the National
Association of School
Psychologists (NASP),
Kathy Cowan, said in the
press release that Mr.
Traina’s statements “… in
no way reflect the views,
values, or ethics of the
school psychology
profession or the National
Association of School
Psychologists (NASP).“
Cowan continued,“They
contradict NASP’s
Principles for Professional
Ethics (2010), which hold
school psychologists
accountable for safeguarding
the well-being of
all children and youth,
affirming diversity and
individual differences, and
engaging in critical self-reflection
to identify
personal biases.”
The May 22 memo noted
that Mr. Traina is not an
NASP member or a
Nationally Certified School
Psychologist. But, Cowan
wrote,“NASP maintains
that his remarks are an
unfortunate distraction
from the important roles of
school psychologists and
the critical issues involved
in meeting the educational
and social-emotional
needs of America’s
children and youth.”

Representatives of the
Louisiana Psychological
Association (LPA) also
released statements.
Dr. Phillip Griffin, LPA
President and Dr. Alicia
Pellegrin, Secretary, sent
a letter to the Editor to the
Times-Picayune,
published on May 30.
They said,“We are writing
as representatives of the
Louisiana Psychological
Association on behalf of
all psychologists in this
state to condemn the
recent racist tweets made
by Mark Traina,…” They
wrote that Mr. Traina is
not a licensed psychologist,
and “Unfortunately,
Mr. Traina is not
licensed by any regulatory
body in this state,
therefore, only the
Jefferson Parish School
board had authority over
him.”
Griffin and Pellegrin
wrote,“Racism is evident
when one condemns an
entire group for the
actions of some group
members, which Mr.
Traina repeatedly did. The
use of the type of hateful
and divisive language
contained in Mr. Traina’s
tweets only adds to the
difficulty of having
reasoned and critical
discussions to find
appropriate solutions to
the problems of crime in
our city and in the
country.”
“We all condemn those
thugs who control parts of
our community,” they
wrote,“killing and
maiming innocent citizens
and creating terror in too
many of our neighborhoods.
We do not need to
invoke racist jingoism to
decry the problem or
describe the results.”
LPA also put out a press
release on the matter,
along with the Letter to
the Editor to the Times-
Picayune.

FACT: AN INTERNAL INVESTIGATION WITHIN THE JPPSS TURNED NO EVIDENCE OF IMPROPRIETY ON MY PART DURING NEARLY 30-YEARS OF SERVICE AS A CERTIFIED SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST!