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St George Is Coming
Dated: December 11 2013
I saw the group of frustrated parents of St. George area fight their hearts out in the Legislature to try to create a school district apart from the Parish, in an effort to stop the madness of EBR Schools. I saw Rep. Pat Smith rally the unions and black legislators and defeated the St. George parents so bad that they knew they didn't have the votes the second time. I saw the Mayor, Kip Holden, our Councilman, Joel Boe, the Chamber power brokers, all stand by in silence, indifferent to the decades of torment, busing, fights, drugs, and lack of teacher support. The very fact that St. George people would fight so hard to have better schools, like Zachary and Central did, would seem to signal the power brokers in Baton Rouge that something is dreadfully wrong, and that finally some people have had enough. Now I see that the Chamber folks, who put their own candidates in school board races, hold a secret meeting to plot how to combat these parents from getting control of their own schools. Coming soon is a PR effort with Chamber money ($450,000 of, which is our tax money, that the Mayor and Council give to the Chamber) to desperately fight the people of St. George. When the power folks realized that St. George was nearing half the signatures needed to call the election, somebody sounded the alarm. St. George is Coming! How stupid am I? We've complained, and complained, but the power brokers just continue to want the status quo. When I was on the School Board, in the eighties, the Chamber brought in Bernard Weiss, "an educator" out of Astabula, Ohio, over one of the local Baton Rouge school administrators that the local people wanted. (I know, I voted for the local guy.) Weiss was a disaster, but the Chamber "knows better than the little people" ...and money buys candidates, and the Chamber has the money. How Stupid am I not to recognize it that? Well, the Chamber still has the money.
THE CITY OF ST. GEORGE WILL BE THE GREATEST THING TO HAPPEN TO BATON ROUGE IN BATON ROUGE HISTORY! ...Because it will stop the exodus of parents, at least in St. George, desperate for decent schools for their children. It will create competition between the two cities, and ideas will flourish as to how to improve both communities. It will disenfranchise the power brokers who rule over the entire parish. It will force the black parents who care what happens, to demand discipline and teacher support in the schools. It will force the School Board to support good principals and teachers in the EBRPSS system. It will stop the transporting of a lot of kids in different parts of town from fighting at the transfer station with factions from different parts of town. It will give St. George leaders an opportunity to improve areas of St. George which have been neglected for decades. If Baton Rouge is big enough to have a Zachary, and big enough to have a Central...then it's big enough to have a St. George. Maybe I was just too stupid to see it coming!
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