The Concerned Citizens for a Unified DeKalb, a coalition of parent leaders from schools across the county, is calling for the six suspended DeKalb board members to throw in the towel and resign.
(For a good place to find an aggregation of all the news about the DeKalb school drama, go to the Parents for DeKalb Schools Facebook page.
The statement calls for the six to resign and drop the legal challenges. They lost a key legal battle yesterday in front of U.S. District Court Judge Richard Story, which ought to give them more impetus to get this drama over with and step down.
But they may be waiting for the state Supreme Court to take up their plight.
As the AJC reported: The judge’s decision does not end the litigation. Story indicated he was dubious about the likelihood that DeKalb would win under their U.S. Constitution argument, but he signaled that the Georgia Supreme Court could soon consider questions in the case. He asked the two sides to agree on which questions, and gave them 10 days to submit them. “The case as a whole is not going to dry up and blow away at this point, but it will be able to be studied under a less urgent situation, ” said Ronald Carlson, an emeritus law professor at the University of Georgia.
While board member Eugene Walker has made his desire known to continue the legal battle, most of his colleagues promised to step down at the 14-hour state Board of Education hearing if rulings went against them.
Why haven’t they done so? What is stopping them from turning in their resignations?
If they continue to procrastinate, they will lose whatever good will toward them remains in their communities. Many posters on this blog are fans of Nancy Jester and Pam Speaks, believing that the two are the most selfless DeKalb board members.
So, why haven’t they resigned?
Here is the statement from the Concerned Citizens for a Unified DeKalb:
We’re grateful that U.S. District Court Judge Richard Story gave swift and careful consideration to the case and chose not to leave conditions in a long state of uncertainty. Our group takes no position on the legal merits of the law of removal in question, nor of the federal court decision itself. However, we welcomed a fast decision.
The moral question remains. How can the suspended members of the DeKalb County Board of Education think they are serving the needs of the children of DeKalb while destroying the finances and reputation of the school system with continued legal warfare over their jobs?
The suspended board members should not continue to fight for board positions in the light of their failures with the school system, not with the continued threat of loss of accreditation should they prevail in their legal quest. As long as they’re waiting in the wings, they stain the credibility of the board moving forward. Our interest is in a functional board serving the interests of the children of DeKalb.
If the suspended board members have the true interests of the children of DeKalb County at heart, they’ll simply resign. It’s the right thing to do.
Similarly, we’re asking Gov. Nathan Deal and the Georgia legislature to call for special elections to replace interim appointed board members in a reasonable time frame, regardless of how the governor uses his appointment power to replace suspended board members. We believe this would show respect for the voting rights of DeKalb County citizens and acknowledge the extraordinary nature of the moment. It’s the right thing to do.
Concerned Citizens for a Unified DeKalb is a diverse group of concerned community members, representative of all school regions within DeKalb County, working to encourage people to communicate their opinions to the DeKalb Board of Education.
We believe these three things to be true:
The majority of DeKalb County parents perceive that the Board of Education has been dysfunctional and ineffective. It is in the best interests of all stakeholders that the six board members recommended for removal be replaced by the electorate.
The citizens of DeKalb are the ones who should decide who is on the board of education.
Money is being spent on litigation initiated by board members to save their jobs that could be spent on educating our children
Our mission is to unite DeKalb and move forward to ensure that every child in DeKalb is afforded the opportunity and access to a quality education. We are attempting to resolve the issue with the DeKalb BOE with as little collateral damage as possible.
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog