Schools should be mirror of our future

Published 12:04 pm Tuesday, April 3, 2012

By Dee Henderson

Member, Parents Against Corrupt Officials


“We declare our right on this earth … to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.” — Malcolm X


Selma School Board members Holland Powell, Frank Chestnut and Brenda Randolph Obomanu have given our school system a bad check; a check, which has come back, marked “insufficient funds.” Nevertheless, PACO (Parents Against Corrupt Officials) refuses to believe the bank of justice is bankrupt.

It seems, yet again, certain groups in our society would like for history to duplicate itself thereby giving them power to hold themselves superior beings, regardless of the passing of the Emancipation Proclamation and the civil rights movement. As citizens of Selma, we believe we dwell in the unequal world of disenfranchisement, segregation and various forms of oppression, and if that is not enough, add on a daily basis, the efforts and determination of three board members to destroy progress. Citizens of Selma, it is time for us to stand united against the havoc brought on by Powell, Chestnut, Obomanu, interim Superintendent of Education Gerald Shirley and last but not least, board attorney Katy Campbell.

We are in a state of emergency. It is time to stand up; it is time for Selma to create a future of togetherness and boldness.

Chestnut stated during one of the school board meetings “Where you begin is where you end.” PACO has adopted John Dewey’s quote “As a child lives today, he will live tomorrow.” PACO will continue on our God-guided mission to protest corrupt officials, whether they are politicians, teachers or interim superintendents. Members of the school board need to know that we believe Dr. Donald Jefferson sowed seeds of fairness, responsibility, accountability and this is what he will reap. Powell remembers that day when our fearless leaders Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his Letter from the Birmingham Jail to the eight white religious leaders: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

The Selma Times-Journal published Powell’s “Facts should speak for themselves” letter on its opinion page. In it Powell states, “Let us continue the march started 47 years ago, a march toward the future, not back to the same period of following those who create chaos for profit.” As African Americans, we have survived through the agonizing experiences that the oppressors by no means voluntarily give freedom and education; they must be extracted by the oppressed. Fact: Since “lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for,” PACO will fight on the shoulders of justice from those “freedom fighters” who refused to give in.

Schools should be a mirror of our future society; a two-way mirror. On one side of the glass reflects “marching toward the future,” having invested in the minds and lives of our children academically; the other side reflects “knowledge is power.” Sadly, we believe our public school system is broken. Fact: “Those who create chaos for profit.” Taxpayers of Selma, let’s look at the money grubbing politicians. Each school board member receives $600 monthly, which equates to $7,200 annually. Powell, Chestnut and Obomanu have bamboozled at least $21,600 collectively on the pretense of providing quality education for our children.

They have spearheaded false declaration against Dr. Jefferson in the pretense of STI. Was Dr. Jefferson terminated because they are afraid to move forward? Selma is once again suffering obvious digression.

Powell’s admittance to the actions that preempted Dr. Jefferson’s termination, according to his attestation, “could have been written off as a freshman mistake.” Was there no level of training that could have been offered to Dr. Jefferson?

It is the responsibility of the superintendent to act in the best interest of students within the school system. We stand firm believing that Dr. Jefferson did just that. Who is Powell to determine what Dr. Jefferson’s training entailed throughout his years of experience in the public schools?

In the absence of justice, what is freedom but organized crime? If the citizens of Selma were to continue the march that started 47 years ago, as Powell suggested, we would be promoting organized crime. We the people have yet to be heard.

As citizens of Selma, we need to understand we are no better off now than the citizens of South Africa when they were under apartheid. Powell has no problem subjecting the citizens of Selma to name calling; using the word “minions,” which is used to describe others in a less than positive manner.

PACO holds out little hope that Powell, Chestnut and Obomanu will actually put the citizens of Selma first, replacing their reprobate minds with care and concern for the children.