There you have it folks! I knew that this was going to come. The recent episode of the court testimony showed 5 WHITE FOLKS who were concerned about what was going on with the school system that were trying to get rid of 4 school board members. Then they showed 3 WHITE MEN who were a part of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. As I viewed this line up I knew that THE RACE CARD would soon follow.
Now keep in mind that we should ignore the BLACK FOLKS who testified about the antics of the various members of the school board. After all they must be co-conspirators for "The White Man".
This is what pains me the most: anyone who has been following the situation in Clayton County Georgia for at least the past 8 years would know that this is a school system in chaos. Years ago they had a revolving door on school superintendents due to major conflicts with the school board which was made up with a different cast of characters back then.
In my observation the problem is with that which the ring leader of the conflict (I will obtain her name later) said: She is a passionate advocate for the kids and was FIGHTING TO IMPROVE THE SYSTEM. Just as a local opinion writer noted - when you have too many people who have gone from $35,000 per year jobs where they are INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTORS only to be elected to a board where they must manage a $70 million dollar budget - they often don't have the skills necessary to be effective in the job.
Now don't get me wrong. There is a need for a certain amount of "Speak Truth To Power" folks on a board. They insure that things are shaken up where needed. The problem is THEY CAN NEVER BE ALLOWED TO BE THE BALANCE OF THE BOARD. When this occurs you get - Clayton County. Where are the seasoned educators? Where are the retired business people with years of experience and the associated pragmatism?
I sincerely hope that the people of Clayton County will REJECT this RACISM claim because over the past few years they have seen first hand that several members of the board that they elected (not all) were not competent to be in their positions.
The goal of the entire community in Clayton County should be to government their selves accordingly so that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools does not have to step in and enforce their uniformity. Please note that both the Dekalb Public Schools and the City of Atlanta schools are not on the bad side of SACS. It is not their COLOR but their CONDUCT that is all the difference.
AJC: Lawyer: School board complaint is about race
By MEGAN MATTEUCCI
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
An attorney for four Clayton County school board members argued before a state administrative judge Wednesday that the only thing his clients are guilty of is being black.
Judge Michael Malihi will now determine if there is any evidence Clayton board members Michelle Strong, Sandra Scott, Lois Baines-Hunter or Yolanda Everett violated the law and should be removed.
Malihi, of the Office of State Administrative Hearings, finished taking about 40 hours of testimony Wednesday and hopes to make a ruling by the end of the month.
On Wednesday, board attorney Rodney Moore accused five white Clayton County residents of trying to remove the board members because of race.
“There is no violation of law, and there’s been no malfeasance proven. There is no law against not getting along,” Moore said after the hearing. “It’s about being black and being subject to human error.”
The residents have asked Gov. Sonny Perdue to remove the board members, alleging they violated the state ethics code and Open Meetings Act when they put the school system’s accreditation at risk.
The residents called on witnesses who alleged at the administrative hearing that board members had a coach fired, illegally closed meetings, arranged votes, bickered, engaged in name-calling, misspent money and committed other violations.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools cited similar behavior after it investigated Clayton County’s schools and will decide by Sept. 1 if the district remains accredited.
“I think if SACS found the board dysfunctional, that’s the way it is. I don’t think a leopard changes its spots,” attorney Robert Oliver, one of the residents, testified.
School board attorneys denied all of the allegations except the bickering and shouting and said no school district in the state follows the open meetings law precisely.
Moore spent Wednesday questioning the residents about their motives.
“None of these school board members you filed a petition to remove represent your district,” Moore told one of the residents during the hearing. “As I look at the table, I see five white petitioners against four black defendants.”
Moore did not elaborate on the race allegations during the hearing or afterward.
The residents, who all live in District 6, initially sought to remove seven board members. Norreese Haynes, David Ashe and Rod Johnson are exempt from the complaint because they are no longer on the board.
“Last time I looked, Ashe is Caucasian,” Oliver told the judge. “We didn’t pick and choose. If we would have made it racial, he wouldn’t have been named at all.”
The judge scolded Moore after he made a comment accusing the residents of trying to bring back “the good old days.”
“If you can stay away from those comments, I would appreciate it,” Malihi told the attorney.
The residents â€” a retired Clayton teacher and four attorneys â€” said Moore’s statements were ridiculous.
“I taught 150 children a year for about 20 years. I want all of those children to be proud of where they went to school and not shun that they went to Clayton County [schools],” petitioner Dyane Simons, a retired Clayton middle school math teacher, said outside the hearing. “I taught children, not color.”
The residents and school board attorneys have until Tuesday night to file briefs with the judge, who then will make a recommendation to the governor.