Thursday, July 10, 2008

'A Dereliction of Duty'

Posted By on Thu, Jul 10, 2008 at 3:44 PM

Metro Council member Jerry Maynard says “there’s a strong possibility” the school board will wind up in court trying to defend its rezoning plan. “It’s ugly,” Maynard says of the board’s vote this week, which came despite angry opposition from the city’s black leadership. “I’d never seen anything like that before in my life as long as I’ve lived here in Davidson County. I’ve never seen a government agency just totally disrespect an entire segment of the population, the African American community. I’d just never seen that before. There was total disregard. They didn’t care. There was no consideration of our issues and questions.” The NAACP says it’s considering a lawsuit, and Maynard says: “There’s a strong possibility that they will be sued” if black leaders decide the school board members deliberately rezoned children out of the Hillwood cluster of schools because they are African American. Maynard also accused school board members of “a dereliction of duty” because—incredibly enough—they didn’t seek legal advice on whether their actions could expose Metro to a lawsuit. “The school board should have been focused on getting us out of corrective action and coming up with a strategic plan to deal with teaching and learning,” says Maynard, who as an at-large council member is possibly the city’s leading black public official. “Instead, they focused on trying to get black kids out of Hillwood High School and the utilization of school buildings. To me, it’s an example of a house burning down and the school board’s trying to move furniture. It’s mind-boggling to me.”

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