I received a phone call from an employee of the Times Free Press a few months back and was advised to tell any writer for the paper I had no comment on anything they asked me. I was told the paper was going to sabotage me and to be very careful. Well, I didn't listen.
On July 2, Joan Garrett wrote an article entitled, "Scales: My Side". Not only did she attach the most flattering picture of me ever, she made many factual errors. One was Dr. Scales' statement about my passing out documents about James Colbert's bankruptcy. Had Ms. Garrett asked me about the James Colbert documents, I would have told her I received them anonymously and personally handed a copy of the documents to Dr. Scales. My concern that was included in these documents was not Mr. Colbert's bankruptcy, it was newspaper articles and documentation about James' misuse of the Dallas school system's credit card. Dr. Scales knew this was my issue because I went on to ask how many people in the administration had credit cards, what the financial limits were and what could they be used for.
Another error said Dr. Scales began a policy of meeting with school board members before board meetings. Dr. Scales did not begin this policy, Dr. Register did. I did not meet with Dr. Register before board meetings either.
In the interview with Ms. Garrett, (which lasted maybe five minutes on Friday afternoon), she said Dr. Scales hoped the next superintendent would continue putting more resources into inner-city schools. I asked what else inner-city schools wanted. I told her that most inner-city school buildings were relatively new, (unlike Falling Water that is 100 years old). I said they received Title 1, Title 2, Race to the Top, and No Child Left Behind funds, Benwood, Lyndhurst, and Public Education Foundation support, they have model classrooms, and many of them have corporate sponsors. Also, all of the magnet schools (which Dr. Scales admitted cost more than traditional schools) are in the city. She asked if I thought they got too much money and I told her "no". But, I did think when students transferred from an inner-city school to a school out in the county, that money should follow that student. This obviously is where she got the statement, "And when it comes to the future of the schools in the county, she said more emphasis needs to be put on suburban rather than inner-city schools." I ask, did I say more emphasis needs to be put on suburban 'rather' than inner-city schools?
In fact, I went on to tell her I wish there was a per-pupil cost put on each student and the money would follow them to their school.
She continued to say that it cost more to educate economically disadvantaged and minority students. I asked why. I then told her that homeschoolers taught their children to read for free and that slaves, even in their dire circumstances, learned to read for free. I told her that all poor students did not live in the inner-city and I could take her to Montlake Mountain, Sale Creek Mountain, or even Signal Mountain and show her some very poor people. I told her the students on Montlake living in poverty were expected to learn just like the students who lived on the lake in half-million-dollar homes. I asked her if she thought parents should have to submit financial disclosure statements so teachers would know what grading scale to use.
Yes, I said "slaves learned to read". That is a historical fact. It is a historical fact that should be celebrated by all students regardless of color. Slaves risked beatings and even death to learn to read because they knew an education was their escape from bondage. Slave owners knew knowledge was power - that is why laws were passed to make teaching slaves to read a crime.
This one statement of fact caused JoAnne Favors to demand I apologize to the black community and even said I should resign. Are you kidding me? Resign for stating a historical fact? Apologize for saying poor and minority children can learn just like white suburban children? I don't think so.
I think JoAnne's hat band must have been too tight in the hot sun. She quoted me as saying, "a slave could learn to read." that is not what I said. I said "slaves learned to read". Quite a difference. She said my 'a slave could learn to read' (that I did not say) comment was "extremely demeaning and can only be described as blatant racism in its most potent form. This is evidence of her profound lack of sensitivity and historical awareness." How is it "demeaning" and "blatant racism" to say slaves learned to read and poor people can learn to read and write? Seems to me the ones who think poor and minority students can't learn are the racists.
JoAnne went further and referred to "students who have been humiliated". Can someone please tell me what she is talking about? Is she saying students are humiliated because I said every student, whether they are poor or minority, can learn to read and write?
JoAnne's "let them eat cake" mentality really shows in her comment, "It is unlikely that Rhonda Thurman's resume would get her past being a greeter in the employment world." What an arrogant attitude. Many hard-working people work at Walmart. I can only hope that JoAnne's toilet stops up, her electricity shorts out, her car tears up, she gets a flat, her house gets termites, or one of her wigs needs styling. I hope every plumber, electrician, machanic, carpenter and hair stylist tells her to call one of her friends with a college degree, preferably a doctorate, to help her.
JoAnne did say something I agreed with, "an empty wagon makes the most noise." Today, that wagon was her.
I heard yesterday that districts are being redrawn in Nashville and Joanne's state house district and Tommie Brown's house district may be combined. You don't think that is what this is all about do you? Just wondering.
Out of Control White Woman