No room for personal agendas in schools
Discrimination was once responsible for much of the problems facing black residents of Yazoo City, but in recent years, irresponsible black leadership has played the largest role.
I’m very angry concerning our councilmen’s “leadership” concerning the disgraceful performance of our public schools.
For 22 years, local elected officials have manipulated our superintendents, but I personally believe they will not be successful in manipulating Dr. Shannon Sudbury.
Yazoo City’s first black superintendent was installed in 1988. Since then, we have employed four other (excluding Dr. Daniel Watkins, who was forced to resign after the councilmen used their influence) superintendents who have submitted to the councilmen’s desires and carried out their personal agendas.
Councilmen have appointed citizens to the school board who did not have the academic credentials to serve in those positions.
A county supervisor accompanied by several of his followers was successful on several occasions in reversing decisions made by a school principal. For example, one day after school a student committed a vulgar act while directing his conduct toward a female teacher while standing on the steps of a school bus while many students excitedly watched. The principal recommended to the school board that this student be expelled. Because of the supervisor’s influence, the student’s punishment was inconsequential. In another incident, this same elected official and his followers falsely accused a principal of an incident that didn’t happen, and the principal was reprimanded.
The result of this kind of irresponsible leadership is that many good teachers have resigned over the past 21 years, both during and at the end of school years. Today we have exceptional principals and teachers in the district, but naturally many of them obey some of our irresponsible elected leaders for the sake of their families.
The results are that as of May 2010 the Yazoo City School District was listed as number 18 from the bottom in the 20 worst performing academic schools. There has been frequent fighting at the schools, and parents frequently come to the schools to support their children’s unbecoming conduct.
None of our presently elected or appointed officials actively participated in the civil rights movement or placed themselves in harms way during the civil rights struggle here in Yazoo County. Many watched man’s inhumanity to man on television.
There are no all-black or predominantly black towns that I know of in the U.S. that are educationally and economically prosperous. Past and present irresponsible leadership is adding Yazoo City to the list. Black leaders can’t blame white folks for the current mess, because the enemy is us!
The best thing we can do for this city and for ourselves is to work to make our school district the best performing in the state. I do not believe Shannon Sudbury will submit to what has been over 22 years of reign over our superintendents.
I beg our local leaders not to manipulate our school officials to carry out their own personal agendas. If you do, you already know that our new regional jail will be open soon to accommodate Yazoo’s Children Gone Wild.
To quote Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
Eugene “Harry” Ward is a guest columnist for The Yazoo Herald.