It seems like the battle of the rednecks and the Beaumont school district is heating up here in River City. With a Capital “C” that rhymes with “P” and that stands for “Pathetic.” Ah, that ol’ “Music Man.”
Down in the Old South part of Texas it seems that those who haven’t white-flighted the now minority majority city aren’t giving up to the mostly black Beaumont school board with its pricey administrator Dr. Carrol Thomas, also black. And by pricey, I mean the highest paid school superintendent in Texas.
Hardly ever does a school mouthpiece become a lightning rod in such fights but here in Beaumont it seems nothing is ever the norm. School spokeswoman Jessie Haynes, take a guess, yepper, she’s black too, has raised the hackles of a couple of board members with a book she wrote which was handed out to seniors last week. The book, “The 10 Stupid Things College Kids Do,” shows how students can wreck their college careers by focusing on the wrong things. Among those wrong paths are “booty calls,” alcohol and drugs, and devil worship. One school board member said a portion of the book focusing on violence against women was inappropriate. Given that some of these are issues that college students actually face it makes one wonder if the board member was, in fact, saying that violence against women was appropriate. Surely not. And are the dissenting board members FOR devil worship? It is enough to make an atheist want to say: “Go God, beat the Devil!”
The newest rumble in the tumble at good old BISD took place when Thomas came to school and found letters that had spelled out “Recognized” for the district’s educational attainment status were possibly rearranged to spell the “N” word.” Someone had begun spelling a word and left the letters spelled “N-I-G-E.” Haynes said in a press conference that this was definitely a racial slur. I suppose someone could have been spelling out the name “Nigel,” although it’s doubtful. BISD Police Chief Clydell Duncan — who wears three stars on his uniform collar leading one to wonder if a school police chief should wear three stars — said the act bordered on a hate crime.
When you look closely at what all is taking place and has taken place in and surrounding the Beaumont school district it’s kind of hard to feel sorry for anyone, except for the kids. Haynes may have meant well in addressing problems students may face in college. If she did so without board approval, which I don’t know if she did or didn’t, it wouldn’t be a very smooth move.
It is hard to say that an unfinished act of criminal mischief rises to the occasion of making a federal case over the sign rearranging. Yes, it probably was meant to spell out a hateful word, but if the people did intend to spell the “N-word” the perpetrators’ stupidity would have been there for all to see when they finished. That particular word has two “Gs” and not one.
Being fair to opponents of the current Beaumont school leadership, some might call it “regime,” some of their moves have been extremely heavy-handed. The recent case over demolishing the beloved old South Park school building to construct a new school can be viewed as an “in-your-face” gesture by Thomas and the board. Ditto for naming the new athletic complex for Thomas with virtually no public input.
Distasteful as all this racial ignorance is, at times dual-sided, it is life in the big city. Dr. Thomas and his side need to realize that if they want to play with the big dogs. As for the reprobates who can’t see pass race to try to be part of the solution, we’ll just have to see how much they reap by sowing stupidity.