The video is 14+ minutes in total, and once you start watching, you’ll probably not be able to stop. Like when you see a train wreck.
These proceedings were NOT an audition for Tyler Perry‘s new movie, “Madea Gets Elected,” though no one would blame you if you thought so. This was an attempt to create new districts for DeKalb’s school board, and to reduce the number of members on the board from 9 to “no more than 7,” per SB 79, passed last year by State Reps Mike Jacobs (R-Brookhaven) and Mary Margaret Oliver, (D-Druid Hills) and State Senators Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody) and Emanuel Jones (D-Decatur.)
You may also believe that this debate is really whether to create a 5-member school board or a 7-member school board, and nobody would blame you if you thought that, either. That’s exactly what those responsible for the debacle want you to believe. What it’s really about is eliminating any chance that the DeKalb School System can pull itself out of its usual state of cronyism and dysfunction, and start giving DeKalb taxpayers a return on the investment they make in educating 99,000+ kids in the County public schools.
If I were the speculatin’ type and wanted to noodle out who was behind some mischief in a redistricting process, I’d look for somebody who had spent some time on other governing boards, who had history of skirting the rules, who had not one but two sexual harassment suits against him settled using taxpayer money, who had been a legislator and who had once chaired a reapportionment committee. Bonus points if this person had just taken over the chairmanship of the DeKalb School Board from a feckless incompetent who will soon seek another office. I wouldn’t have to look far:
Whoops: I would be remiss if I didn’t thank John Heneghan for filming the meeting and posting the video to his blog. Thanks, John.