Restore DeKalb Town Hall Meeting June 15th – A Mission To Address Critical Issues

Dear Supporters of DeKalb County School System,
We are Restore DeKalb and have scheduled a town hall meeting for June 15, 2013 at Sanford Realty Company Conference room at 4183 Snapfinger Woods Drive from 10am- 12pm.  Learn where we are with DeKalb’s Accreditation to include:
  • What have our school system done to “restore” full accreditation?
  • Should DeKalb County School system have a secondary accrediting agency (Dual Accreditation) to provide a “safety net” for our high school students?
  • What are the plans to improve graduation rates for DeKalb County schools?
  • Where does the school district stand on the issue of cell towers on school grounds?
Please view the graduation rates for  DeKalb County compared to Metro Atlanta and individual high schools with the school system to include:
We must address the fact that 3505 students did not graduate according to the data provided by the Georgia Department of Education.  We must address the fact that over 68% of our schools did not rate equal or above the state level.
The Georgia Supreme Court heard the case challenging the constitutionality of a two-year law allowing the governor to remove our local school board members if they (school board) jeopardize the school district’s accreditation.  The hearing occurred Monday, June 3, 2013 at 10am. 
The Georgia Supreme Court will decide if the governor has the right to remove school board members.  Five of the six ousted board members will have individual administrative hearings beginning next week.
Nancy Jester does not have an administrative hearing scheduled.
We are highlighting a powerful editorial by E.A. Lisa Flournoy, PhD titled Of the Opinion:
Of the Opinion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
By E.A. Lisa Flournoy, PhD
Have you ever been sick and tired of being sick and tired?  Well, when I read in the newspaper that five of the six ousted school board members are petitioning to get their jobs back; I said to myself; enough is enough.  I must speak to this so, let me state it bluntly, “You Blew It!”  The voting citizens of DeKalb County trusted you to do a job, and “you blew it”.  Take ownership of your actions.  You did not place the education of our children as the number one priority.  Instead, you allowed the cancer of cronyism and nepotism infect our school system. 
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to sit and speak with a past school board member.  As I began to voice my concerns to her, she injected with the following statement: 
 “People do not realize how difficult it is to make all those decisions, I wish all those people that criticized us would become an elected official, and then they will see if they would make the most popular decision for every citizen in their community.” 
I heard her and truly tried to muster up some compassion for what this ex-school board member conveyed, however, I could not ignore the fact that; no one asked her to run!  This was her decision.  Surely, one does not approach this intense endeavor without the clear understanding of the significance of holding public office.  
Certainly you considered the scope of responsibility prior to throwing your hat into the public arena.   You, ex-school board member, campaigned to the general public that you knew what it took to fill the office of school board member. You advertised that you were the right candidate for the job.  You made a promise to the families in your designated region.  You told us that you had what it took and that you were capable of getting the job done.  This is why we the public, elected you into office.  So, you failed, (I will not say you lied). 
How about looking your constituents in the face and offer up an appropriate apology?  How about looking at that man in the mirror and admit that you chose the “power” of the position of school board member over the “dedication” of the position of school board member.  Admit that you utilized the school board position to boost your personal popularity and greed.  You became a “shot caller” and “ball hogger” at the expense of our children.  Your actions labeled a once “Premier” school system as a system where it is who you know, not what you know, and that should never be the attitude when it comes to educating our children.  We should always search for and employ the best and the brightest regardless to whom they are related.
Many people in our community say that the Governors’ actions were wrong; that he should have allowed the public to vote for the replacements to the school board.  Look, I did not vote for Nathan Deal either.  However, in this particular instance his actions were appropriate.  The six should have been removed for the betterment of the community. 
DeKalb County School system began failing our children as far back as the 2007/2008 school year.  We citizens witnessed the slow deterioration of our school system; however, we sat silent entrusting in our elected officials to do what they said, campaigned and promised that they would do.  Because of our blind dedication of supporting our “own” and pure southern Christian agape love of the brethren, we stood by and allowed these six school board members to run ramped over our babies as they clothed their treachery in the “we shall overcome” mentality.  We did not look objectively at the situation.  Thus, it took an “outsider” to assist us in finding clarity.
If we are going to truly heal from our missteps and poor decision making, as it relates to the DeKalb County School Board, we must first take ownership of our failures.  As I relinquish this soapbox and await my apology, please allow me to leave you with this; Right and Wrong does not have color!
 Peace & Blessings,
E.A. Lisa Flournoy, PhD
Co-Founder/Executive Director
Jenarations Community Services, Inc.
Brief BIO:  E.A. Lisa Flournoy, PhD.
Resident of Lithonia, GA  since 2005
Retired Educator / Counselor
Family Advocate

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