For months the school board, community leaders, community activists and some citizens discussed, debated and more often than not disagreed on whether to enter in to a contract with Camelot Education, an education service provider with targeted and effective programs designed to assist:
– Students that are struggling academically and risk not meeting promotion and graduation requirements
– Students needing a more structured environment with individualized attention and behavior supports and
– Students with autistic and exceptional needs.
The effort to hire Camelot Education failed. It was voted on and more board members voted against it than for it. That’s the democratic way and although I disagree with the outcome I have to respect the process.
With that being said it’s no longer important how I feel about those board members who voted against it.
It would be a waste of time and print to continue arguing how unbelievably one Caucasian male was able to influence four other board members, two of whom are African American, to vote against the best interest of close to 75% of the student population who happen to be African American.
It would be pointless, at this juncture, to continue speculating that by joining forces and voting against Camelot Kia Chambers would expect to endear herself to Frank Myers and John Thomas thereby all but guaranteeing being elected as Chairman of the board next January. However, according to a recent email that was sent to board chairman Pat Hugley Green from Frank Myers, we now can say it is no longer speculation but fact.
In an email sent to Muscogee County Board Chairman Pat Hugley Green on May 31, 2017 at 2:03 PM Frank Myers wrote:
Pat: You might as well go along with all this. Kia is going to be the Chair come January, Let’s Give Kia a head start! Thanks Frank
So now we have another example of one of us selling our soul for 30 pieces of silver or in this case a chairmanship.
I’m sure she will deny she has no control over what Myers says or suggests but in our next issue we will “connect the dots” and let you decide.
Back to the topic at hand as it relates to those who feel they have “won”.
What bothers me, however, is in their ignorance as they continue to celebrate their “victory on Facebook and other social media site they fail to realize the problem still exists and no one has a plan how to fix it.
OK fine, you don’t want Camelot, now what?
You are still faced with a school district that serves students with disabilities, emotional or behavioral problems and those who are over-age and under-credited.
You are still annually serving 400-500 students in grades 3-12 temporarily removed from their assigned school because of severe violations of the district’s behavior code.
And you are still faced with over-age students in grades 6-12 who have fallen behind their peers.
When the school you send students to who are temporarily removed from their assigned school because of severe violations of the districts behavior code ends up suspending 48% of those same students it is obvious outside help is needed. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.
I’m sure now that Camelot is out of the picture local organizations are salivating in anticipation of being awarded a school district contract as they prepare to present their proposals. I am all for Black folks helping their own and truly believe there is an African American individual or organization out here who can make a difference. I am wary, however, of the usual suspects in this community who continually claim they have the answer to our student’s problems but have never delivered.
We can’t afford to award contracts to someone who claims they have the “perfect program” just because they are Black or because they SAY they know what’s best for “our” kids. I don’t care how many degrees they have or letters are listed after their last name. We all know that some of “us” have no problem taking advantage of our own for a guaranteed paycheck.
If those board members who voted against Camelot want to prove they really care about the 75% they need to do their due diligence to ensure that anyone requesting and receiving a contract can prove they can make a difference. Not by what they SAY they can do but by proving they HAVE done it.
We can’t afford another babysitting service. You need to show how your program HAS taken youth from failing his classes to passing his classes, from a disruptive student to a model one. Show me someone who can prove they have accomplished that and you get my vote all day long.