Schools are about togetherness not division

Published 1:33 am Sunday, May 11, 2008

Tall trophies and stacks of certificates welcomed a nearly 100-person crowd at Thursday’s Natchez-Adams School Board meeting.

And for a full hour community members, students, teachers and very proud parents watched as Superintendent Anthony Morris publicly honored 60 or more students, teachers and parents for a job well done.

The meeting was the first one of its kind in nearly four years, maybe more.

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It was a welcomed change for most. And it meets the cry from a recently organized group who has made a name for itself by pointing out flaws, calling for change and demanding that Morris go.

But the Committee for Better Public Schools wasn’t present at the board meeting. They didn’t see that Morris had directly responded to one of their requests.

The committee was too busy preparing for its own meeting downtown.

State Superintendent Hank Bounds was invited to the committee’s meeting to talk about the Natchez schools.

Bounds preached a message of togetherness and community involvement, but he couldn’t ignore the elephant in the room.

Why would the Committee for Better Public Schools schedule a meeting for a time when the local superintendent and the school board couldn’t attend?

School board meetings are put on the calendar a year ahead of time. They are required by law to be publicly announced in advance, and changing the time would not have been a feasible option.

Bounds shouldn’t have agreed to come talk to the group without Morris present.

And the committee needs to quickly learn that togetherness doesn’t work when you are intentionally divided.

Strong forces working against each other will only make things worse for our children. Personal agendas won’t get us where we need to be. That will take working together, each person pulling in unison.