Calling for school board appointments

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A group of parents have planned a press conference for today to call for the Selma City Council to appoint the remaining three members of the Selma City School Board.

This call to arms, as it were, comes a slight two weeks after a parents group railed against members of the city council during a special meeting called by Council member Johnny Leashore. Leashore couldn&8217;t muster up a quorum for the special meeting; thusly it turned into a gripe session.

Certainly any meeting of parents is a worthy one. Parents want what&8217;s best for children and the school district just as those without children would like to see the school district prosper because that means a healthy community.

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The ability of the individuals who live in this area to find well-paying, meaningful ways to earn livings ultimately depends on the quality of educational opportunity offered them. If we want to ensure that this area&8217;s workforce is the sort that can attract higher-quality employers, then we have to have well-educated people.

That means not using our school boards to play out political scenarios in which there are axes to grind.

The meeting held a couple of weeks ago was no more than a way for Mayor James Perkins Jr. and his minions to attempt to politically muscle the school board into voting for a certain candidate for superintendent of education.

Leashore was right during the meeting, if Perkins had spoken, it would have been construed as an out-and-out political attempt to influence the school board&8217;s decision, just as the telephone calls that Perkins made prior to a much-ballyhooed executive session by the school board after that meeting.

But Perkins didn&8217;t have to speak at the so-called special city board meeting that fell through. Every person who spoke in favor of appointing new school board members either had worked for the city or worked for the city or was related to the mayor.

Instead of bickering about school board appointments, the members of the PTO and other parents need to be hunkering down and volunteering to tutor students who can&8217;t make the grades on the Graduation Exam. That would be more constructive.

How about it?

Let&8217;s have a rally to show support for children in a meaningful way. How about a read-in at City Hall to help children grasp the fundamentals they&8217;re missing in the classroom? How about a volunteer to fix that heat in the School of Discovery? How about volunteers to repair those walls crumbling down in one of the city&8217;s elementary schools? How about parents who get up and make sure their children are warming the seats of a classroom, instead of beating the streets during school hours?

Hooray for the parents if they really have the children&8217;s best interests at heart, but there are a dozen different ways to do this without holding a press conference to call for a council meeting that won&8217;t happen until January.