|What a difference a lone African American School Board Member Makes|
The spin is in.
Let's get one thing straight right off the bat, HCS BOE vice president Laurie McCaulley's decision to cancel her community conversations masquerading as "a community workshop on desegregation", was not done in "good faith", but rather, a firm judge who saw through the ruse and slammed the sham.
"It was my intention to present the opportunity for citizen engagement in a forum that the public could embrace and the court would consider meaningful and transparent," McCaulley said.It is troubling when elected officials would rather lie than be honest with the public. For example, McCaulley said it was her intention to present the opportunity for citizen engagement in a forum that the public could embrace, and the court would consider meaningful and transparent, when they have a policy that violates the civil rights of citizens.
"As an elected official, I would never intentionally do anything that would jeopardize the integrity of the judicial process," she continued. "Therefore, in the spirit of good faith, the... work session will be canceled."
In their haste to revive a stale scandal (redEYE roll) the media failed to report the HCS BOE violated the civil rights of a constituent by not allowing them to question the BOE unless it was written down and filtered through a mime. That's right, those who make the rules, get to break the rules. Again. But hey, look at that bright, shiny, object over there!This same board member said the BOE was under a gag order when they weren't.
The U.S. Department of Justice says that there was no need for months of secrecy surrounding plans to close Butler High and redraw zone lines across Huntsville.This same Board of Education asked the court to exclude a letter sent by Madison County Commissioner Bob Harrison; an anonymous version of a form letter sent by several residents; and the letter signed by several ministers and politicians, and, to ignore citizens comments at the desegregation hearing.
In fact, a federal attorney wrote that Washington never gagged the school board nor Superintendent Casey Wardynski, despite the board's recent claims.
Huntsville school officials in March told the court that city was desegregated in the 1970s and 1980s, that people moved and that federal courts have held school boards are not accountable for where people choose to live.This same Board of Education ignored a petition and a march, then violated their own policy and changed the name of J.O.Johnson High School to Mae Jemison High School.
The next round of legal briefs are due May 16.
In the meantime, the judge received three letters suggesting that the school system had ignored the black community in Huntsville when planning new zone lines. Black community leaders argued the new zone lines would increase racial segregation levels and that the city did not provide equal educational opportunities in all schools.
Huntsville business leaders offered an opposing point of view, contending that the black community had not been ignored and that the school system has taken several steps, such as providing all students with laptops, to equalize educational opportunities across town.
So now we were are supposed to believe they weren't trying to circumvent the mediation process ordered by Judge Haikala? How can credibility be re established with people we have come to know as patently dishonest?
Huntsville City Schools needs more than a lecture on the state's open meetings law. Honesty and public trust should be part of that lesson.
It's time for them to go.