Saturday, March 31, 2012

It never ends....

I'm writing this in a rush. I apologize for the formatting.

The N&O published an article today about Susan Evans apologizing to Supt. Tata. Here's the whole story.

I wrote to Mr Hill on Wednesday, March 28th with the following:

Chair Hill,

I listened to the public comment portion of last night's Board meeting.  I am just amazed how disrespectful and attacking some remarks were -- and that you allowed them to continue. I realize you may have gotten numb to the hateful approach of the many GSIW members who speak at every meeting but I can assure you that others haven't -- and never will.  I encourage you to gain better control of your meetings.

Allison Backhouse

He wrote this back: 

Dear Mrs. Backhouse,
Thank you for sharing your thoughts.  While observing the Board prior to 2007, and then serving on the Board since then, citizen comment has largely been uncensored - even during the oversight of our immediate past Chair, Chairman Margiotta.  While comments last evening were strong, to say the least, they were not slanderous or libelous.  What might be appear to be disrespectful and attacking to one segment of the population, might be considered on target and driving a point home by another segment.   
I followed up with this email. The original email referenced in the N&O article from Susan Evans about Supt Tata is at the bottom of the thread. 

What the N&O article didn't point out is that Susan Evans made this comment to the leaders of GSIW. Not only is she still involved with this group, she's actively encouraging them.
Mr. Hill,

While I can't say that I am surprised by the email below, I must say that I am disgusted. Ms. Evans has lied to us once again -- and she has used an obscenity to describe Supt. Tata to members of the public.

Ms. Evans just assured the public and the superintendent that she has disaffiliated herself from GSIW yet this email clearly shows that she has not.  I believe every recipient on this denigrating email is a leader in GSIW.  I now have a better understanding of the lack of civility at Tuesday night's Board meeting as this hateful group is obviously being egged on by their role model, Susan Evans.

When Supt. Tata questioned Evans' and Kushner's allegiance to GSIW, he and the citizens of Wake County were well assured by both that they were no longer leaders of this group. Apparently, their indignant reaction to the superintendent's claim and their "just trust us" assertion was all pretense. Clearly, Mr. Tata's concerns remain valid as I now see the type of behind-the-scenes behavior that undoubtedly contributed to his original concerns.

This demeaning email is just another example of the personal attacks on the superintendent from GSIW in the media and during Board meetings.  We now know that at least one Board member is actively encouraging this type of behavior.  How many other examples are there that we don't know about -- whether in email, phone calls or personal conversations?

As a citizen of District 8, I would like to know what you, as Chair, are going to do about these types of attacks? Your response to my email yesterday was flippant and dismissive. I demand that a public apology be issued by Ms. Evans to Supt. Tata for this personal attack. Also, I formally request that Ms. Evans be investigated for ethical breaches due to her lying about no longer being a member of GSIW and for using profanity to insult our superintendent.

I would also like Ms. Majestic's legal opinion on this matter.

Thank you,

Allison Backhouse

From: Susan Evans []
Sent: Wednesday, March 07, 2012 2:22 PM
To: 'Lois Nixon'; 'Pam Bowden'; 'Lynn Edmonds'; 'Diana Bader'; 'Christine Kushner'; 'Amy Womble'; 'Karey Harwood'
Subject: RE: The ocean

I think TT may be a dolphin J

From: Lois Nixon []
Sent: Wednesday, March 07, 2012 12:07 PM
To: Pam Bowden; Lynn Edmonds; Diana Bader; Christine Kushner; Amy Womble; Karey Harwood; Susan Evans
Subject: Fw: The ocean

Think we need to bring these to the next BOE meeting.  Some are a bit naughty!  But, everyone will wonder what on earth we are smiling about!  :)

Children Writing About the Ocean...

1) - This is a picture of an octopus. It has eight testicles. 
(Kelly, age 6)

2) - Oysters' balls are called pearls.
(Jerry, age 6)

3) - If you are surrounded by ocean, you are an island. If you don't have ocean all round you, you are incontinent.
(Mike, age 7)

4) - Sharks are ugly and mean, and have big teeth, just like Emily 
Richardson . She's not my friend any more.
(Kylie, age 6)

5) - A dolphin breaths through an asshole on the top of its head.
(Billy, age 8)

6) - When ships had sails, they used to use the trade winds to cross the ocean.  Sometimes when the wind didn't blow the sailors would whistle to make the wind  come. My brother said they would have been better off eating beans.
(William,  age 7)

7) - Mermaids live in the ocean. I like mermaids. They are beautiful and I  like their shiny tails, but how on earth do mermaids get pregnant? Like,  really?
(Helen, age 6)

8) - I'm not going to write about the ocean. My baby brother is always crying,  my Dad keeps yelling at my Mom, and my big sister has just got pregnant, so I can't think what to write. -- :( Sad, but probably true! LN)
(Amy, age 6)

9) - Some fish are dangerous. Jellyfish can sting. Electric eels can give you a shock. They have to live in caves under the sea where I think they have to plug themselves in to chargers.
(Christopher, age 7)

10) - When you go swimming in the ocean, it is very cold, and it makes my willy small.
(Kevin, age 6)

11) - The ocean is made up of water and fish. Why the fish don't drown I don't know.
(Bobby, age 6)

12) - My dad was a sailor on the ocean. He knows all about the ocean. What he doesn't know is why he quit being a sailor and married my mom. (James, age  7)

If you didn't smile at one of these, you need to find a better sense of humor.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Desperate times

I think we are now witnessing desperation.

The N&O recently ran a couple of columns by Burgetta Eplin Wheeler about how “disturbing”, “confusing and upsetting” the new student assignment plan is. Oh, the drama.

Ms. Wheeler’s first column addresses the “alarm bells” of this plan. She paints a picture of uncertainty and leftovers (not surprisingly, it is mostly magnet-driven fear – as Ms. Wheeler is a magnet parent herself). She ridiculously calls the plan “nearly incomprehensible”. 

I have found that most people who find the plan confusing or “nearly incomprehensible” haven’t taken the time to actually read it. It’s not rocket science. Spend a few minutes reading it, Ms. Wheeler, and check your alarms while you’re at it.

I’m fairly certain that Ms. Wheeler wrote that column to simply taunt parents and taxpayers because opposition to this plan is losing traction. She uses phrases like "casualty count" and "collateral damage" in an attempt to paint a dark picture. Instead, it comes across as a weak last-ditch effort to stop the plan.

Just days later, the N&O published her second column about the plan. In this one, Ms. Wheeler addresses the “mystery” of student assignment as it relates to realtors in Wake County. Somehow Ms. Wheeler managed to find the only 3 realtors in Wake County that have either had their heads in the sand for the past few decades or have been lying repeatedly to each and every home buyer. The realtors claimed they are worried about not having a base assignment to help sell a house. There has never been a guaranteed assignment in Wake County. After decades of yearly reassignments, any realtor that sold a house based on the currently assigned school was being deceitful – and they knew it.

In my opinion, these columns are clear signs of desperation. The so-called pro-diversity groups have lost the battle and they are now losing the war. 

So, where do Brannon and her GSIW cronies fit in? That’s hard to say. They’ve bashed and insulted Supt. Tata, have said this plan was rushed from the beginning and that it’s too confusing to parents, and have even given awards to their School Board friends (Evans & Kushner) in hopes of halting this plan.

Yet, strangely, in today’s N&O article, the leader of GSIW, Yevonne Brannon, states: 

 "A large majority of the folks we are hearing from do not understand this plan; they think it's too complicated; they'd like to go to school closer to where they live, with vibrant options to move out."

Huh? Did she just admit that the parents want to attend a school closer to where they live? A neighborhood school, perhaps?

After two years of protests, disruptions, candlelight vigils, lawsuits and arrests in response to moving WCPSS towards a more family-friendly, proximity-driven assignment plan, Brannon is now asking for a more defined neighborhood model to allow more students the opportunity to attend school close to where they live.

Is this another sign of desperation?

GSIW and the NAACP have lost the diversity battle in Wake County. The election of their leaders hasn’t really panned out. And, most damaging to their rant, parents are speaking loudly that they like this plan -- and those who don’t seem to like it actually want more neighborhood options (as I addressed in a previous post) -- not a return to diversity quotas.

If you ask me - Brannon's comments are just another desperate attempt from a group trying to remain relevant. They no longer have a target on the School Board. Their demons are gone and they have been left with nothing. Their membership is nil and their press releases have become ludicrous. There's nowhere else to go and have now shown they are willing to say anything (even "more neighborhood schools") to have a continued purpose. They are backed into a corner and will say anything just to survive.

I’ve said all along that if you let these people argue long enough, eventually they will end up in support of neighborhood assignments.

I think we might almost be there.