Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Renaming Schools for President Obama and Justice Sotomayor violates board policy

The latest suggestion to remove the current names of two schools to be rebuilt and rename them in honor of President Barack Obama and Justice Sonia Sotomayor clearly violates Dallas ISD Board policy.

Neither the President, nor the Associate Justice would support their names being used in this way.

It would be delightful to have schools named after both. However, neither one is anywhere close to the Dallas ISD required age of 70, and the April 1 deadline - for considering recommendations this year - passed months ago.

Of course, the Dallas ISD Board has been known to disregard board policy, state law or anything else that gets in the way.

My vote will be against any effort to use these two outstanding trailblazers for what appears to be a solely political agenda.

It is quite simple and easy to make recommendations in a timely manner that meet the requirements of Board policy. There are many deserving people at all levels - local, state and national. Trustees have had plenty opportunity to make recommendations. It is done every year.

However, Trustees have shown a willingness to violate this policy.

In fact, Trustees Price, Garza and others spent plenty of effort one month ago joining with Trustee Blackburn to undermine the appropriately submitted recommendation of outstanding African American scholar and educator Dr. John Hope Franklin for a new elementary school in the district I represent - District 6. They did it in a dastardly way and in violation of Board policy.

Dr. Billy Earl Dade's widow is now 90 years young.  I will not join in wounding her in the evening of her life by voting to remove the honor previously given to her husband - a local African American South Dallas educator and former Principal of Pearl C. Anderson - who was honored for all the right reasons by a previous Dallas ISD Board .

The names of President Obama and Justice Sotomayor should not be used in violation of board policy and for a political agenda.