“Leadership” destroyed school district

Jul 13, 2013 by

Makes civil people wonder what the agenda has been for too many years why “leaders” of North Forest ISD treated students this way.

What is not surprising is the inept Shelia Jackson Lee the so-called congresswomen screaming, threatening and inciting violence over the state take over of the district. She knows no shame.

Children of the former North Forest ISD did not get the care and respect they deserve.

Temporary classrooms at North Forest ISD’s Fonwood Elementary School will be demolished before students return in August to resume classes as part of the Houston Independent School District.

Poverty doesn’t excuse the pervasive neglect and callous indifference to the welfare of children that HISD leaders discovered when they visited North Forest ISD school facilities in preparation for assuming control of the problem-plagued district. What they found, as the Chronicle’s Ericka Mellon reported last week, were classrooms with broken glass, flooded floors and mildewed carpeting, among a host of other shocking conditions that will cost at least $10 million to fix. (“HISD tour of North Forest greeted by mildew, neglect,” Page A1, July 3)

“I just keep repeating, ‘I can’t believe kids were here,'” said Kimberley Agnew Borders, the new principal at Fonwood Elementary, one of North Forest’s older schools.

We can’t believe it either. It’s heart-breaking that boys and girls spent day after day, year after year in school buildings with exposed electric wires, broken equipment, and water fountains – as absurd as it sounds – too tall for the younger ones to reach.

“It would make you cry,” Houston ISD Superintendent Terry Grier said.

While roaches scurried across kitchen floors at the high school, where was U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, the Houston Democrat who took it upon herself to fight the HISD takeover?

Where were North Forest school board members while children rode school buses with worn-out brakes, tires with little tread and oil leaks? Instead of looking out for those youngsters, they were waging an expensive rear-guard action to preserve the perks, jobs and connections that benefitted themselves.

Maybe board members plotted their lawsuit while hanging out in a meeting room at North Forest High School – allegedly a room for visiting parents – that featured a handsome grandfather clock, a glass coffee table and a display cabinet showing off Lenox china. Or maybe they were ensconced in the teacher’s lounge, where they could watch “As the World Turns” on a flat-screen TV while relaxing in upholstered chairs or on a plush couch. Never mind that the children in the district’s charge were forced to use dirty, foul-smelling restrooms and play at recess on broken, rusted playground equipment.

“It talks about where your priorities were,” Grier remarked.

It will take the superintendent’s cleanup team nearly two months to get the North Forest facilities in at least minimal shape for the opening of school in late August.

Our notion of justice would be for Charles Taylor Sr., the former president of the North Forest school board, to lead a team of former board members ripping out smelly carpet, cleaning restrooms and changing bus tires in the heat of a Houston summer. That won’t happen, of course, but what will happen is that North Forest children soon will be getting the care, attention and respect they deserve.

via A damn shame – Houston Chronicle.

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