Education

What to expect Tuesday

Posted July 19, 2010
Updated July 21, 2010

Wake County Public School System

Here's a look at what you can expect leading up to and around the Wake County Board of Education's July 20, 2010, meeting, in which opponents protest the board's move away from busing students for a community-based student assignment plan.

- Leaders of the state NAACP and African Methodist Episcopal Zion Churches of the Eastern District are holding a mass demonstration against the Wake County Board of Education’s planned change to the student assignment policy – a change opponents believe will lead to resegregated schools.

- The rally begins at 10 a.m. with a march from the Raleigh Convention Center to the state Capitol, where opponents are expected to speak out against the student assignment policy.

- Speakers, including parents, pastors and representatives of advocacy groups, will address the crowd beginning at about 10:45 a.m. State NAACP President Rev. William Barber will conclude the remarks shortly before 11:30 a.m.

- The school board will meet at the school system's headquarters at 3600 Wake Forest Road in Raleigh, at 12:30 p.m. for its meeting of the committee of the whole.

- Seating vouchers will be available in the lobby at 3600 Wake Forest Road, beginning at noon.

- Supporters of the school board's policy plan to be at the meeting to show their support.

- The school board meeting will meet at 3 p.m. with a public comment period beginning at 4 p.m.

- Anyone wanting to speak can sign up to do so from 12:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. at the customer service counter on the first floor near the lobby of the school system headquarters. Those signed up for public comment will be called shortly before their turn to speak. Everyone will be afforded the opportunity to sign up for public comment, regardless of seating availability in the building.

- School board Chairman Ron Margiotta says the school system has hired off-duty police officers in anticipation of demonstrations Tuesday. The board is also consulting with Raleigh police about additional security.

- The move comes after its last meeting in which four people, including state NAACP President Rev. William Barger, brought the meeting to a standstill in protest of the student assignment policy.

- All four were arrested on trespassing charges. Last week, the school system sent them letters telling them they were not allowed on school property unless they provide written assurance that they will follow the board's rules of order.

- As of Friday, none of those arrested have provided that written assurance. In a statement, Barber wrote:

"Let them send us a thousand letters. What they need to do is send a letter of apology for wrecking the nationally acclaimed diversity policy and slowing the struggle to improve excellent educational opportunities for poor and minority children."

He continued:

"We will let the lawyers handle his [Margiotta's] threats and letters while we will keep speaking the truth in love and standing in our faith for justice. … The lawyers will work out our individual cases We have received no word from the courts about being banned. But beyond us personally we will invite those at our mass assembly to go in Mr. Margiotta's meetings and to raise our community message, certified by truth, justice, and equality.

13 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • celong Jul 20, 2010

    The only vouchers needs are school vouchers for parents to send their children where they want to, including private schools. Then we would see some new player in the ongoing circus.

  • Not_So_Dumb Jul 20, 2010

    Well said Kristen168, well said. The WCPSS diversity policy was a nice PR move for big businesses. "No bad schools in Wake County." Spread the low achieving kids around so no one notices. Look at who funds the Wake Ed Partnership and the Friends of Diversity. Follow the money.

  • Kristen168 Jul 20, 2010

    The result of forty years plus years of desegregation and diversity in all walks of life is that African Americans have been coming into their own as far as advanced education and prosperity. Many have used college sports as a spring board to more prosperity into pro careers as well as entering medicine, law and much more. These people speak well and are versatile in many areas. This is because their grandparents and parents and they themselves pushed for opportunities, often being hosed down in marches, arrested, even killed. The rest of us may feel we've had to sacrifice in many ways, but this is the way it should be. What all of us now need to be doing is getting to the bottom of why the U.S. has failed its citizens (once again) and demand big business get this country back on track with jobs and ethical people running things. Get the funny business men off Wall Street who are even fleecing the police out of their retirements.

  • mjeffrey Jul 20, 2010

    not so dumb & Wray, I guess we will see the next time the school board comes up for election. only time(and the next election) will tell.

  • Not_So_Dumb Jul 20, 2010

    "If the elections were held today, now that the tigers have shown their stripes, this board would most likely be unseated." - Wray

    I doubt it. The more people know about the previous policy and its failures, the more they support the new board. The whole public was asleep for a long time, not just one side.

  • Wray Jul 20, 2010

    ... is segregation

    finishing off my first post which I guess was 2 words too long

  • Wray Jul 20, 2010

    well said billo

  • Wray Jul 20, 2010

    ...and this school board was really not "elected"... heavily funded right wing groups like "Americans for Prosperity," shoved these candidates down the public's throats with high financed campaigns. Voter apathy and the remaining populous were caught asleep at the wheel. If the elections were held today, now that the tigers have shown their stripes, this board would most likely be unseated.

  • Wray Jul 20, 2010

    Mamabear: You don't understand because you are forgetting your history. Prior to the 1960s, white folks just like myself not only segregated our schools but entire communities. There was a white section of town and a "colored" section. "Colored" people could not go to white stores or doctors, ride white buses, etc., unless they had their maid uniform on or a white baby in tow. Since the Civil Rights Act and desegregation, more minority races have moved in small numbers into historically white communities, but regardless large populations of African Americans, for example, have not moved and still populate heavily those communities where we as white people put them so many years ago. Community schools therefore means that in the communities that retain large minority polulations - they will all go to school together. Same with communities that find themselves with predominantly white populations. The motivation of having community schools is not to segregate, however; the net effect

  • bill0 Jul 20, 2010

    Wake county housing is basically segregated. Most neighborhoods are either predominantly white, predominantly black, or predominantly hispanic. The government isn't forcing people to live that way, but it is the reality of the situation. If you base school assignment completely on the neighborhood, then the schools will reflect that too. Any school pulling from SE Raleigh neighborhoods are going to be predominantly black. Any school pulling from SW raleigh neighborhoods are going to be predominantly white. You can debate whether that is inherently a bad thing, but it doesn't make any sense to deny the fact that the new policy will result in most black students going to predominantly black schools. It may not be the goal of the policy, but it will be one of the results. That doesn't necessarily mean that the predominantly black school will be bad, but I don't think you can dismiss concerns that they will be.

More...