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Garner Mayor Defends Protest Against Busing

Posted April 15, 2008

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— Meeting with community activists Tuesday, Garner Mayor Ronnie Williams said he does not think he needs to apologize for a recent comment he made concerning students being bused to the town.

"Sitting here today, I don't think I owe anybody an apology," Williams said. "But I will admit, I may have chosen my words a little more carefully."

In an interview last week, Williams said his town does not want any more students from Southeast Raleigh being bused to Garner.

The comment drew ire from Southeast Raleigh community leaders who took offense to the remark, which they believe was directed at low-income minority students.

But Williams said during a two-hour meeting with community leaders Tuesday that race has nothing to do with his comments.

He has long said there is an unequal share of poverty in Garner schools and that the town has a high percentage of low-income students because of busing.

The Wake County Public School System measures economic diversity in a school by the number of students who qualify for free and reduced-price lunch. It tries to keep the level below 40 percent.

Williams has said more than half of students qualify in many of the town's schools.

"We are not targeting any student from anywhere. The numbers are there, and they reveal the facts,” Williams has said.

The group wants to meet regularly to talk about the issue. Members have planned another meeting in two weeks and eventually want to take their concerns to the school board.


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  • Bob Sidel Apr 16, 2008


    lower class people are holding themselves down, everyone is afforded the same opportunity in life when it comes to education, whether they take advantage of it or not is another story.

  • atac001 Apr 16, 2008

    Even though I live down the street from Timber, My kids did not get selected to go there due to the fact they are white. I know this because all the minority families around me have kids that did make the cut along with children accepted from SE Raleigh. What a crock! Now my kids are going to Smith which is further for us to drive. They put us in Smith because the Majority of the school are minorities and they want some white children to help bring up race ratio and to increase the school's grades so they can get approved for grants etc. Let the SE Raleigh kids stay in SE Raleigh. Let Raleigh deal with Raleighs problem and not push the left overs onto Garner. Garner needs to put kids in the schools nearest to them so they can go to school with friends and neighbors and not ship them off to some strange school with a bunch of outsiders. Mayor, you are doing GREAT in rejecting the SE Raleigh kids, however, work towards ending the Race Ratio that Garner (and other schools)have!

  • TheAdmiral Apr 16, 2008

    "The F&R % in Garner schools is higher than average, higher than the WCPSS stated 'goal', and MUCH higher than other areas of Wake County."

    That is not a problem - the problem is the School Board Patting themselves on the back because they make the numbers more important than education of the student.

  • mcoupe Apr 15, 2008

    If the county took the money they would save in fuel cost from not shipping kids all over the county and paid for better teachers then we would be better off. Kids should go to school in there own area. The school system here used to be one of the best and now its a joke. I didnt want to move to a northern bordering county for fear the school system is worse but I dont think it can get any worse than where Wake county is heading.

  • districtcadvocate Apr 15, 2008

    "... I cannot support them in sports or any other activity because of the distance and my work hours. When there is a problem with the bus, they miss school. They cannot serve ASD because I can't get there in the time they want them picked up. They can't do afterschool for the same reason so no extracurricular activities. It appears those making the rules have no idea what it's like to have to maneuver the hurdles they set up for those of us with a child/children in the wcpss whether f&r or esl or not..."

    This simple quote from NCAries along with the NCLB test being the gist of what teachers teach is harming WCPSS and the students therein immeasurably.

    Somthing has to change, pushing the 200,000 enrollement # will not work. Is not an achievement that will inure to our benefit. We are headed for catastrophy and everyone in office and in the current administration is playing russian roulette with our future as a city(s) of Wake County.

    God help us all!!!

  • Babyboy Apr 15, 2008

    If you think that Garner can run as school system effectively I would love to see how fast that would fold... it would not even make it a year. WCPSS makes a ton of mistakes, I will not argue that.... but I love how we have all of these ideas for change and then people run for school board positions without any competition. get off the the message board and do some work.....

  • BULLDOZER Apr 15, 2008

    Have we had enough yet.... of government schools? If vouchers could be issued this would all go away over night.. well almost.

  • lizard Apr 15, 2008

    I don't believe he could have chosen his words any better. "Let the dogs bark!" They don't really care about their kids, just the money they can make.

  • Garnerwolf1 Apr 15, 2008

    This has been going on for a long time - not just in the last year or two. The F&R % in Garner schools is higher than average, higher than the WCPSS stated 'goal', and MUCH higher than other areas of Wake County. Remember, we are in a COUNTY school system. All he wants is a level playing field for Garner schools. Garner officials have asked, begged, and pleaded for many years to no avail. Nobody has listened so Williams has kicked it up a notch. As a 37 yr Garner resident, and the father of two in Garner schools, this is what I want him to do.

  • batcave Apr 15, 2008

    do not apologize, the truth is the truth