MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. -- The CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Manatee County is now on administrative leave after sending out a memo intended to promote higher standards. Instead, it's sparking controversy.
The memo came in an email from Marc Dosogne, addressing current job openings with the organization, first saying that the Boys and Girls Clubs needs to strengthen its staff.
But it then described higher standards for potential employees as someone who has not had children as a teenager, and that candidates should not have a lot of tattoos, face piercings, dreadlocks, sweatpants or baggy shorts.
Dosogne understands the concern with memo, but says he had good intentions, and only wants to help create the best men and women possible. “I have such a passion for helping our young people succeed, and giving them every opportunity they deserve, and it’s important to me that our staff our volunteers and the community can help us do that."
The memo does not sit well with the Manatee County NAACP, whose president says the memo was insensitive and culturally biased. "If a person comes just in with dreads, does that mean they’re not qualified for the job, simply because of their hair choice, whether it’s because of religious reasons or even health reasons? If someone comes in who's had a child at the age of 15, 30-40 years ago, does that mean that person is not qualified? They can be qualified, but based on his memo they would not be hired. And so that's where the discrimination comes in," says Susie Copeland.
The Manatee County NAACP is calling for the CEO's resignation.
ABC 7's Bobeth Yates is continuing to follow this story and will have more tonight on ABC 7 News at 5.