Arlington Superintendent issues apology

SnipImage[1]In the past two days the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has been bombarded with angry letters demanding to know why Superintendent Jerry McCullough and the Arlington Independent School Board refused to let the (largely minority) school children under their charge hear their president extol the virtues of hard work, discipline, self-confidence and hope. 

In response, Superintendent McCollough issued this statement.  Jerry is a nice guy, no question about that.  But I can’t imagine a black or Hispanic administrator folding so completely in the face of conservative white paranoia.

Hopefully, lessons have been learned.

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: “District offices were besieged with phone calls when parents and the media learned that about plans for students to attend an event where [President George W.] Bush is to speak.”



Steve Maxwell, chairman of the Tarrant County Democratic Party, told the Star-Telegram he respects McCullough for taking responsibility for the mess.

“It goes a long way to making people feel better that there is some sense of fairness in the Arlington school district,” he said.

“I would like to see it followed up with them agreeing to convene a school assembly to show the 18-minute speech to all students. It was very motivational and inspirational. I don’t know why they wouldn’t.”

Why wouldn’t the superintendent send a positive signal to Arlington’s minority community?  For the same reason he made his initial decision–demographics aside, white is still the color of power in Arlington.  Thus, the onus remains on teachers to make their own arrangements if they wish to show their students the speech.  I would like to know how many teachers take advantage of the opportunity.

One thought on “Arlington Superintendent issues apology

  1. I think the bad decision on part of the Arlington ISD administration concerning President Obama’s speech is merely a symptom of a bigger problem. Consider these facts: The School Board is virtually all white-males. Administrators and teachers are predominately white. The latest student population ratio is 71% ethnic minority. Students in alternative schools (disciplined) range from 80% to 90% ethnic minorities. The vast of majority of these students are there due to Type II offenses (less serious) rather than the serious offenses of Type I.

    I think there’s a lack of cultural sensitivity in the school district which is probably why the Superintendent opted not to air President Obama’s speech in the first place. If the school district doesn’t ethnically diversify from the top down then I can expect more “slips” from the school administration in the future.

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