Demand action from school board, he says

Published 8:28 am Friday, February 27, 2009

To the Editor:

It has been said that insanity is doing the same thing but expecting a different result. This truly describes the Franklin City Council in its reappointment of David Benton to the school board.

If Benton’s presence on the school board did not deter the decline of the system over the last nine years, how effective can he be now in helping turn things around? His reappointment, in my opinion, is totally about maintaining the status quo of “whites being in control,” even though there is a black majority in the city.

This city, chartered in 1961, was flourishing. It has taken less than 50 years for the current rule to destroy it, so why not allow the majority-black population to make attempts to restore it? We surely can’t do any worse than what has already been done. Racism is the only true reason. Deny it if you may, but the proof is in the action.

As for the school system, the board has known for nearly a year that a new superintendent had to be hired, but no action has been taken. While these politics are being played, our schools continue to be inefficiently managed and our children suffer.

I implore every parent and community leader to insist that a speedy selection be made from among the qualified, certified and licensed applicants interviewed.

Void of this action, I recommend that the community join forces and do as state Sen. Louise Lucas did in Portsmouth: File a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against individual council members for negligence since they consistently perpetuate a second-rate school system; against the school board members for exercising prejudice as one can individually make racially insensitive statements without expectation of repercussion; against the school board for failure to provide quality leadership and education to its students; against the school board for negligence in its administration of public funds; against the school board for acting prejudicially in not naming the assistant superintendent as acting superintendent; and against the school board for allowing unnecessary central-office positions to be created and for giving salaries not in line with employees’ education and/or abilities.

In a time when America is crying out for change, not just in leadership but in attitude, it is a shame that the powers who think they are in Franklin are still locked in the pre-Civil War-era mentality. It is too sad that they do not consider that they will answer to God for their actions and inactions.

John Rose