"Most Powerful Pages on the Planet"
July 21, 2008
Volume 1 - No.9
Darwin Campbell, Executive Publisher
A Bi-Weekly Publication
The People Strike Back !!!
Dallas School District Called To Task Over Education of African-American Children
Lone Star Power Pages
DALLAS- Tired of the empty rhetoric that has done little to change the fortunes and futures of African-American children in the Dallas Independent School District, citizens have decided it is time to strike back.
The Parents/Citizens Black Coalition to Maximize Education have taken legal action against the DISD hoping to remedy years of discrimination, abuses and negligence that has hurt the education of thousands of African-American children in the DISD.
The group wants to see educational justice for Black children now drowning in a sea of poor performance scores, excuses and apathy plaguing the district and its leaders.
“Dallas Independent School District’s Board of Trustee’s has abdicated its power and oversight to special interest groups and individuals whose primary interest is not the education of school children…”, said Joyce Foreman, civic leader, business entrepreneur and community advocate. “We hope for a safe, productive environment where all students will achieve high academic standards--- thereby motivating them to seek a wholesome life and career path.”
The lawsuit, filed with in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, alleges that the Dallas Independent School District continues to discriminate against African-American and lower-income students by providing inferior educational facilities and fewer educational opportunities in predominantly African- American areas of Dallas.
Much of the frustration with DISD centers on its continued unwillingness to take serious the concerns of parents, students and community leaders about the increasing problems of poor school performance and drop our rates of African-American students.
Others are upset over decisions to close some schools in African-American neighborhoods failing to consider public input, opinion and ideas over how to solve the problems.
In the documents, plaintiffs state that in many of its schools, the district offers low quality academic programs, equipment, facilities and materials, especially in schools in African-American communities, where many economically disadvantaged and low income Black and Hispanic students live.
Also at issue are questions relating to the plans and distribution of bond issues from 2002 and 2008, where $1.3 billion and $1.35 billion respectively were approved, but none of those funds appear to be channeled for improvement projects for schools currently in African-American communities.
The coalition also alleges that district leaders failed to comply with the Texas Open Meeting Act in reference to the 2008 Bond referendum – one that passed without holding public meetings to get input from communities and neighborhoods where DISD schools are located.
Also highlighted in the suit are academic concerns and the serious neglect and potentially dangerous environmental and health hazards students and teachers faced at Maynard Jackson Middle School. Both were exposed to raw sewerage and noxious gases at the facility. Concerns were also raised about classroom space and privacy issues relating to restroom locations and use in coeducational environments.
Other concerns in the suit focused on the continued neglect, physical deterioration of Roosevelt High School, South Oak Cliff High School, D.A. Hulcy Middle School and James Madison High School and Spruce High School to name a few.
Despite bond issues, African-American and Hispanic students at these schools continue to be forced to study in dilapidated facilities, housed with less than adequate libraries, inadequate equipment and technology and with fewer advanced classes, internships and special programs.
The group is hoping its efforts will stop current bond sales and district leaders current plans to close and consolidate schools in minority neighborhoods and bus students from those areas to other schools in the district.
According to Foreman, the coalition wants that funding reevaluated and directed to provide full repair or replacement of affected schools and provide all schools with the same technology, equipment, libraries and instructional programs that puts African-American students at affected schools on equal educational footing with all students in the district.