Lamar High's Library Ousts Books, Re-Opens as Coffee Shop

Categories: Education

burningbook.jpg
We love the smell of burning literature in the morning.
Just adding a coffee shop to a neighborhood library so people can feel like they're in Starbucks and ultra hip was apparently too passe a trend for Principal James McSwain of Lamar High School.

Finishing up a week ago, McSwain has thrown out nearly all the books and filled the space they were unnecessarily taking up with couches and coffee and food and told his students that they can access the exciting world of reading through e-books! And if they don't have a laptop of their own and Internet access to do so, they can use one of the laptop computers in the library coffeeshop!

He's even expanded the library coffeeshop hours to 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. which works great if you're one of those kids with your own transportation and not one who is too young, too poor or with rotten parents who won't let you drive to school yourself rather than riding the bus.

And he's bought 35 new laptops! For a Houston ISD flagship school with more than 3,000 students in it.

A veteran educator who visited the school a few weeks ago said most of the books were already gone by then. "There were a few down one side. They assured me they're getting rid of those as soon as they could. The plan is to turn the whole space into a coffee shop run by students."

Students will be able to access places online such as Questia,
an online resource facility where you can get articles about anything that you want, she told Hair Balls. There's books online, too, but as she put it, the selections are limited. Her reaction:

"I was appalled. I was stunned by the whole thing I can't imagine what he was thinking. I'm assured this is old school thinking and we should just appreciate that they're not old school thinkers."

The change, she said, was "designed to impress the new superintendent [Terry Grier] with the forward thinking nature of that particular principal at that particular school. "

She said she was told one teacher who had kids after school working on their volunteer hours was asked to send them to the library to "get rid of the books." She said he asked what they meant and "They said they didn't care; just get them out of here."

"He couldn't bring himself to throw away books. He said it didn't seem like a good thing for the kids to do. They got somebody [else]. My impression was that most of the books were thrown away. Some of them may have been donated."

Hair Balls tried to reach McSwain; he would only speak to us through HISD Sarah Greer Osborne. This is what she told us:

"The school library has been updated. It's got a lot of new electronic equipment. Most of it's e-books and new laptops and they're putting their money, instead of into paper, they're putting it into electronic resources.

Yes, there are still books there but most of it is now e-books where the kids can check out the book and as long as they have Internet access they can read the book. The library is now open from 6:30 to 6:30, a.m. to p.m., and he says the kids are eating it up; they have never seen so many kids in the library before. They only did this a week ago and he says the number of e-books being checked out is through the roof.

He says the kids love it. They did put coffee and food in there so the kids when they're staying after school and before the kids can have a little coffee, read a book it's just like Starbucks. Except they're providing the books as well. The kids are eating it up that's what they want. They want the e-books."

The veteran teacher wasn't as excited. "It's just stupid. It just boggles the mind. I'm sure there's more to the story and I'm sure that they can make it sound better than I'm making it sound to you but in the end it's a terrible story. There's no way in my mind that you can gloss this story and make it seem like a good idea.

"There's no way to get hold of a book on the campus to read for pleasure or to use to write a paper. If you don't have access to a computer of your own then you have to compete for one of the computers that are in the coffee shop. And you have to find a way to get it done during the time the coffee shop is open."

The teacher said the whole thing breaks her heart; but she can walk away from it. At least she's not the Lamar High librarian, whose library has been "repurposed" (a favorite educator buzzword these days), presiding over a coffee shop with all those swell couches.

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132 comments
Eduk8or
Eduk8or

I don't think he should have thrown out the books. It's good to have a mix of real and virtual books. I always liked studying and doing homework in public places. I think it's a great way to get kids into a place they wouldn't otherwise go. 

I don't think he should have thrown out the books. It's good to have a mix of real and virtual books. I always liked studying and doing homework in public places. I think it's a great way to get kids into a place they wouldn't otherwise go. http://www.scholarshipsauthority.com

Guest
Guest

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Mr. T
Mr. T

We know that the younger generation, in general, does not read the newspaper. They are all over Kindles, eBooks, online access, etc. I have well-educated children in their mid-20's who do most of their reading online. This is also true for most of their also well-educated friends. This is the future whether we like it or not and Dr. McSwain should be commended for thinking ahead. I heard through the grapevine that Lamar had to limit access to the library because it was full of students and they couldn't allow any more kids in the room. I wonder how many times that happened back when it was mostly books. Probably never.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I went to Lamar and the library was worthless anyways, except for buying weed and making out...

Cheryl Tippit
Cheryl Tippit

Dr. McSwain has not researched e-books. If he had, he would understand that by going to e-books, he is limiting the number of books that will be available to the students. The cost of to run an e-book filled library will double the cost to run a traditional library with books, magazines, and e-books. Such a move is taking the school backwards. Students must be able to locate, extract, evaluate, and cite information from both online sources and hard copies. Such skills will be necessary when writing their research papers for college. This is a terrible move that is going to hurt the students. That is not what education is about.

R. Archuleta
R. Archuleta

As a parent of two daughters that received an excellent education at Lamar High School in Houston, It is refreshing to see Educators thinking outside the perrenial box and this is a way to boost interest in reading. China and India are becoming leaps and bounds ahead of the U.S. educating our younger generation.

Wake Up! We are in modern age of media, and with wireless communication. You go to a college campus and it consists of PC Workstation to access E-Books.

If the school is not already doing this, they should setup each student with an account and they can access E-Books from anywhere.

Good Job Dr. McSwain and Houston Lamar High School.

Mr. ArchuletaOrange County - California

lamarstudent
lamarstudent

THIS IS THE MOST BIAS ARTICLE I'VE EVER READ. SERIOUSLY, DEAR AUTHOR, YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT!!!! the smell of burning literature? 100% of the books that were removed from the library were donated to other schools/etc. and you are saying: 35 new laptops for 3,000 students.... well smartie not all 3,000 students are in the library at once. to be honest no one even went to the library before. they only did research on the computers. so obviously they changed it for more people to come. and yes, THERE ARE STILL BOOKS, THIS IS NOT A COFFEESHOP. and if everyone LOOOOVES starbucks, and its one of the most popular places in the country, then why wouldn't this "starbucks atmosphere" be a good idea? think about it idiots.. ya'll are all living in the past.

Former Lamar Teacher
Former Lamar Teacher

I used to work at Lamar and can tell you that this is but another window dressing ploy, albeit, one that will probably actually do some good for once. McSwain is a truly well-intentioned man that does not know what is really going on inside that school because he has beaten down his staff so much that they are too afraid to be honest with him. That's the way dictatorships work. I think that this coffee shop is most meaningful superficial improvement to the school yet, but it is sad that there are so many problems that will probably never even touch McSwain's desk because he will never have the courage to see them. It is much more pleasant to rave about coffee shops than address burned out teachers and a student population with a massive drug problem.

Heck, I don't even know if I blame him.

Erika
Erika

No, this idea is so flipping dumb. I'm a student at Lamar, and I am so upset about it. I refuse to go in there now. The whole reason to go to a LIBRARY is to read or have a meeting with people to discuss school. I'm not going to spend time at my school as a hang out spot. EVER. I think that instead of spending most of our budget on stupid stuff that we don't need, we should spend it on stuff that we do desperately need, like actual working desks (we have to few and most of them are broken. the non-broken ones are just plain uncomfortable) or budgeting for more teaching materials. The way that Lamar is spending their money appalls me. Mr McSwain has really lost a lot of my respect by making this decision.

Current_HS_Librarian
Current_HS_Librarian

I, too, was interested in yesterday's Chronicle article. I think the truth lies somewhere between the electronic Houston Press HairBalls blog and the printed-on-paper Chronicle story. Those two different modes of communication underlie the differences many of us have been discussing in our comments.

In a society with only an electronic means of news acquisition (one with only eBooks/eReaders), the HairBalls blog was the only source of information on this story for several days. But then in a world where printed words are still valued (one with a newspaper), a new side to the story was told. This is a true irony!

Another darn HS librarian
Another darn HS librarian

IRONY - your comment is valid, but I don't think any of us are saying that computers are bad. The point most of us are trying to make is that getting rid of all books and replacing a print-rich library with an electronic cafe is not the answer. A blend of the two is best, offering up-to-date electronic resources along with great books is the key to a successful library that promotes reading for pleasure and learning as well as use of the Internet and computers. I am hoping that the truth is that this original report was wrong (as some have said) and that the library still has books along with laptops and coffee. Booksellers and publishers will tell you that printed books are not on their way "out", so we shouldn't send students the wrong message. There is nothing wrong with reading a good book (on paper) and then browsing the Web for research or recreation (or to read another book). :)

RS
RS

I imagine like most people, my knee jerk reaction is to condemn the principal in this instance. But thinking back, I probably went into the library at my high school no more than twice. I prided myself on not reading the literature assigned in my English class while still getting good grades. I filled out the bibliography of my research papers with books I found on Amazon.

And now, five years later, I'm somehow an avid reader. Periodicals, fiction, non-fiction, at some point, the value of the written word, in print or electronic, kicked in. I don't know what the correlation is between one's education experience and one's intellectual curiosity, but suffice it to say there are many angles to this story, and I'm intrigued to see the long term results.

Irony
Irony

111 people read and commented on this article, electronically. Hmmm...

Just Wondering
Just Wondering

Tea Party & Steve N,I'm just wondering, what does some "nutty professor", with the asinine idea of throwing out all the books in a library, have to do with President OBAMA. Is he now responsible for people's thought process??? P-L-E-A-S-E!

Joel Harrell
Joel Harrell

Mrs. Cox,

Why does the tutorial area need to be in the library? Why not the cafeteria, which is very large. Having been on the staff at Lamar, albiet 19 years ago, I remember the cafeteria as having a lot of space, as well as other large rooms being available after school hours.

There is a nice theater there, but I realize it is probably needed for some of the days after school by the Drama Department. I am just curious as to why library space had to be sacrificed.

I still see no need to have food and drinks in the Library. If the coffee, drinks, and snacks are for after school hours, I see no reason for the coffee/snack bar in a library.

Sue P
Sue P

What an eye-popping dialogue! I feel as if contemporary America's rolling right across my laptop!

My first thought is, information without heart, without wisdom, is meaningless. This story exposes a deep lack of wisdom on the part of school leaders.

It also shows that we are at a crossroads as a nation and as a world with facing exactly this question - how to provide fair access to information.

Always, though, the essential question in educating children remains: Will this move make their HEARTS grow? Everything else follows.

A BALANCED re-creation of the library involving voices representing all of the school's constituencies in its planning and executing would have shown wisdom and leadership. By transforming the library into an e-world/o-world (old) fusion of bookshelves and lounge chairs (and more), educators could have modeled knowledge about both worlds and respect for them. And they could have acknowledged the same for the students, who must be fluent in and have access to both worlds.

To thrive as people, we must walk with children along ways to the heart. The mind is not all that matters. The ends do not justify the means - there were better ways to have approached transforming Lamar HS's library.

This story makes me sad. Ignore heart and soul, and the mind is meaningless. Despotic change-making is hurtful.

Children are naturally averse to divorce in any sphere, and now they are divorced from "real" books and, in some cases, from their library. If some are excluded due to lack of school space or home-based technology, then Lamar's student body lost free access to their library. It's no longer a free library, and that's undemocratic.

And we lost an opportunity to exemplify for our children visionary, creative, INCLUSIVE leadership. Imagine the possible hands-on brainstorming that could have gone on! Imagine the collective implementation of transforming that library! Survey techniques could have been taught and applied. Teachable moments were under their noses in every field - economics, math, literature, technology, civics, history, ethics, environmentalism, philosophy, sociology, psychology.

But leading and learning like that requires collaboration, patience, vision, and time - such OLD-FASHIONED values . . . like curling up in natural light in a comfortable chair and reading a book, unplugged.

Paula Cox
Paula Cox

Since my office is in the Lamar library and I worked on this project, I am compelled to interject some facts into the conversation:1. No books were removed for the coffee bar or the sofas and chairs. Space was needed for a new after school tutorial center which will be operational no later than next semester. 2. The librarian chose every book that was given away to students, parents, staff and an HISD charter school that had no library books. Thousands of books remain on the shelves. Ms. Downing's comments of plans to "turn the whole space into a coffee shop" or to ultimately "throw away all the books" are simply untrue. It is true that I have rarely seen students wandering the stacks in search of a book and now the library is often full of students using the facility.3. The coffee bar is an entrepreneurial project by the Culinary program, that occupies about a 5 foot square. When it opens soon only outside school hours, it will serve fresh fruit, yogurt, juices, coffee and prepackaged baked goods for those using the library and attending tutorials.4. Laptop capacity has expanded well past the reported 35. Students frequently waited for their turn at the 20 or so desktops previously, and now they do not have to wait for the new notebooks.5.The sofas, chairs, tables and most of the cost for the coffee bar came from donations by Gallery Furniture, the Lamar Alumni Association, Resource Council, PTO and the Building and Grounds Parent Committee. We are very grateful to them for their support.

Vox
Vox

The other great thing for the school is that the selection can be limited and edited to reflect the jewish agenda: Many, many, many e-books on the Holyhoax, on "Going Homo" and how to destroy the White race.

Roberta
Roberta

Like the way of the Dewey Decimal system. Do we really want our children to not now how to use a Table of Contents of an Index? It's bad enough that their idea of research is Google, but without books will kids really know about literature and learning. There is something tangible about having something tangible.

robertsgt40
robertsgt40

"We don't need no stinkin books"---Hitler

Joel Harrell
Joel Harrell

You're correct,VB87,and obviously I don't use computers, either. I did learn something growing up in the 50's, and that was respect for people, including your elders. We can disagree without the crude, and smart remarks. Also, I am proud enough to use my real name, rather than hiding behind some made up alias.By the way, I have not retired to the sick bed yet. I still work in banking every day, and usher at Kyle Field.

Joel HarrellLamar, Class of 1953Texas A&M, Class of 1957

Not Surprised
Not Surprised

The Chronicle paints a little bit different story than the Press: http://www.chron.com/disp/stor...

I wouldn't call just over half the books being removed as "nearly all." And 120 laptops is considerably more than the 35 reported here.

another darn HS librarian
another darn HS librarian

LAKWAK: Thanks for accusing me of being misinformed and then making all sorts of accusations against me. Luckily, I can give you intelligent facts rather than attacking you personally. Let me clear up a few things: the school I work in is considered an inner-city/urban public school, and our population is 80%+ on free or reduced price lunch. Many of our students are immigrants or refugees. Many of our students have parents who do not have a high school dilpoma. We do not have unlimited funds, and our students do not have unlimited resources. We constantly face budget cuts and have to decide how to reduce our spending. We don't buy thousands of books each year because we know we can't afford them, but we do maintain a library. It sounds to me like the principal at Lamar spent plenty of money making a coffee shop with new furniture and TVs (so much for budget cuts); we remodeled our libray, but not at the expense of educational materials. I'm not sure if you work for a school district or not (I won't make assumptions about you the way you did about me), but I can tell you that there is extraneous spending that can be cut; it all depends on where the value lies in the minds of the administration and school board. Ours support and value learning. Our students, who do not have home libraries or parents who promote reading or information literacy or even computer literacy, see the value in using the library to gain experience in everything from reading to computer skills and collaborative learning. I am sorry to report to you that librarianship is not a dying field. With the increase in the amount of information available online, librarians are doing instruction on information access and retrieval in a whole new way. If you check job outlook sources online, you will see that job growth in the field is following the average for careers in the U.S., not declining. I appreciate your concern for my job and resume, but in addition to being a librarian I am also a university professor and have been published. You should check your facts (and your grammar and spelling) before openly accusing someone else of being not-too-intelligent and stupid.

Kylemo
Kylemo

Anonymous...people scoff when you say hte library has never been busier because everyoner knows you are lying. Thre is no way you can get anyone to beleive that piece of bullshit you are spewing. All it is is that you know you have NOTHING to back up your side of this debate...so you hope that by lying, you can bluff your way through the debate. Which is the worst way to debate.

anonmyous
anonmyous

jfkfan, The cheapest thing to do would have been not to remodel the library and buy furnishings for a coffee shop. That would have saved money.

They could not buy the numerous flat screen TVs that are up and down all the hallways, but I guess they want to make sure students are entertained in the 5 minutes in between classes, makes being out of the classroom more appealing, I guess.

I heard the school has a "Director of Marketing & Publicity", Does a public high school really need this?

They just spent a ton of money redoing the Auditorium.

Sounds like they have plenty of money to me.

I am curious what their student to teacher ratios are? How many students are there per classroom? What is their retention and graduation rates?

I am curious if they have ever managed to remove that odd mold smell you smell all up and down the hallways.

JKFan
JKFan

I would like for just one person...Just ONE person who is blindly criticizing this move despite not having ANY facts (like budget, the amount of use it actually gets...which is likely none, etc.) to come up with another part of hte school where htey could trim the budget and explain why it would be better.

Again...NONE of you know anything about this schoiol. So it is asinine and extremely simple minded to say this is autoamtically a bad move. For all you know, there has literally been NO books checked out all year. (This would not be all that unusual these days.) So to say hte schoool should keep throwing good money after bad makes you all look like idiots.

But please..bring it on..what other school program should be cut? And before anyone says spots, tell me what good or country will be if we can read, but we are all dying at age 40 since it is forecast that by 2040 half of the population of the US will have diabetes and other major health problems due to obesity.

The ball is in your court. REAL life is not Shangri La Happy Town where we all have an infinite supply of money. So, what do you want to see go? Oh...I see...anything that YOU don't like. Gotcha.

VB87
VB87

Hey Joel...a lot has changed in 54 years old man. HAve your applesauce, crap your pants and leave the decision making to people who realize that it is not hte 50s anymre.

I bet you still have an old Bell telephone too.

Lakwak
Lakwak

SteveN. PLEASe realize that only one person looked bad from your comment. YOU. Making up bullshit does not hurt hte government. And your first sentence REALLY makes you look foolish.

The saddest part about your worthless life is that after yo typed what you did, you actualy thought you made them look bad and you look good.

Lakawak
Lakawak

anotehrdarmHSlibrarian...I realize that being a High School Librarian means you are not too intelligent, but did it ever occur to you have fucking sTUPID it is to compare your school with theirs knowing NOTHING about hteir budget?

Iti s clear that none of hte people whining like bitches about this will EVER have a job where they have to make financial decisiions. Becuase when you have a limited budget, it makes sense to cut something that gets the least use. And in many schools these days, that are the BOOKSW. Why waste money maintaining the books when you could bring in some money that could help the school?

I know, I know...it is much easier to be a bitch with a simple mind and not look at facts. But this is hte real world, and bieing a bitch does not get you far in life. (In fact, it ften will get you only as far as "high school ibrarian." Also..you may want to brush up on your resume. Sooner or later, your school will be next. You are in a dying industry and you want to bury your head in the sand and ignore that fact.

Sherie
Sherie

Were the students and parents given an opportunity to provide input before this decision was made? Since this decision impacts 3,000 students, how many people provided input?

Joel Harrell
Joel Harrell

As a 1953 graduate of Lamar, I think what McSwain has done is an insult to the academic atmosphere that has been traditional and important to Lamar.

My mother was so proud to be the Secretary to W.J. Moyes and opened Lamar in 1937. In addition to my graduation from Lamar, my wife and both of our children graduated from Lamar.

For ten years, 1981-1991, I was an Assistant Principal at Lamar, and also acting Principal. I cannot support what McSwain has done to the school, especially throwing books out of the Library. Ebooks are fine, but can never replace the real thing, especially when they are thrown out for a coffee bar. There are more than enough coffee bars around Lamar, and the students can frequent them before and after school.

Jeff
Jeff

All these technology advances over the past 10 years have not improved this country's GPA.Let them get jacked up on coffee and surf the net... ya, that will help.

Spaz
Spaz

Sadly the younger generations will never understand the importance of this but then again, most of the books libraries offer are nothing more than death education, sexualization of children, my homosexual/transvestite mommy/daddy, UN agenda and/or witchcraft propaganda anyway.

Enjoy your day!

another darn HS librarian
another darn HS librarian

Yes, I am another one of those pesky librarians who is appalled by this. Why? Because we have MORE computers in my library than Lamar (there are 71), and we have a coffee shop, and - shocker - we have books. Last month we took part in Library Snapshot day and had over 1200 students visit our library in one day. Our students love coming to our libraries to read, research, go online (yes - we, too, are Web 2.0), and to have a safe place to relax and work with their classmates and friends. To say that we must ditch books and go totally electronic is a joke told by some sadly misinformed people. Our students prefer print books to eBooks, yet they are computer savvy and utilize current online tools to create products of their learning. It's sad when people in charge decide to make decisions without knowing anything about the repercussions of those decisions. I feel for the students and parents of Lamar; they are missing out.

Steve N
Steve N

Deliberate dumbing down of the students, yet another violation of our rights. Add it to the list of gov�t violations of our right:They violate the 1st Amendment by placing protesters in cages, banning books like �America Deceived II� and censoring the internet.They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns.They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by molesting airline passengers. They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars for foreign countries.Impeach Obama and sweep out the Congress, except Ron Paul.(Last link of Banned Book):http://www.iuniverse.com/Books...

Line Up for the Brainwash
Line Up for the Brainwash

They should let the book worm nerds run a used bookstore and collect donated books from the community. But, if the kids are reading YA fiction or "graphic novels", it's more of a waste of time than emailing or facebook is.

John Doe
John Doe

"The plan is to turn the whole space into a coffee shop run by students."

Well at least they'll get training for their future careers.

Greg Johnson
Greg Johnson

Digitizing all information means controlling all information. School books are already filled with countless lies and distortions, which create a false reality for the students. In an all digital world information is becoming more and more censored and an individuals sense of reality is becoming more and more distant from the truth. Can they still read "1984" on their e-books? That might be a good starting point in this Orwellian world we have been living in.

rickster
rickster

i would like to point out the fragility of electronic reading devices. very easy to break.books don't break.

rickster
rickster

an e-book isn't worth the paper it isn't printed on. this is utter stupidity. some people appreciate books.

yaelol
yaelol

I am disgusted with the "update". i love the idea of adding a coffee shop to a school library and have it run by the students. was impressed with couple of Brooklyn NY schools who enable and support student's enterprise projects, allowing them to use school's resources and mentoring/chaperoning them in their endeavors. but killing a library? throwing away books? i wonder how many books does Mr. Swain read. I'd dare guessing that not to many. let's hope that the superintendent got the right impression about the wrong direction Mr. Swain chose.

Hypatia Skywalker
Hypatia Skywalker

Why didn't they keep the books and make room by throwing out all the sports equipment?

jpa
jpa

As a librarian, I understand that ebooks will eventually replace paper, which I view as not particularly important, as long as the media does not limit patron access. In a school situation, this would mean that every student has an ebook reader with wi-fi access. Having "35 laptops"(!) far from meets this criteria, so I think the principal jumped the gun on the medium; there simply is not enough hardware support to provide free and open access. So does the principal have a plan to put the hardware in place by such and such date? Somehow, I doubt that. His fanfare and claims of being "forward-thinking" is no substitute for poor decision making and lack of a clear plan.

Lamar parent
Lamar parent

Barry, good questions. The first I heard of this was via Facebook and this Houston Press blog -- not a word from the school. At this point I'm not sure which steams me more, the act itself or not being told about it by McSwine.

Lisa
Lisa

I keep hearing people say, "Nobody uses the library anyway," or "When I was in high school I only ever used the library once or twice" . Well I went to Lamar for my freshman year ten years ago, and the only thing that kept me going through the long, dull lunch periods in that depressing, overcrowded tenement of a school was the library. Whether it was by killing time on the computer or immersing myself in a book I'd checked out from there, it was a lifesaver. Maybe you guys find this hard to believe, but there ARE those in high schools (Nerds, geeks, what have you) who DO frequent the school's library EVERY DAY and depend on them as an oasis, an intellectual escape from the zoo-like atmosphere of public high school. If someone like me were attending Lamar today, they'd have a hell of a time now!

Nice to hear that Lamar sucks as much (if not more) today as it did when I attended. At least I'm not missing anything!

Barry
Barry

Margaret, did you find out if the school's SDMC approved this change? Also, how does the Lamar Alumni Association feel?

Lamar parent
Lamar parent

This is appalling. My child is a freshman in the Lamar IB program and he, too, is appalled. He confirms that all non-fiction has been removed, and that while laptops are easily checked out, real books will be next to impossible to lay hands on. But given the source, this decision is not surprising. From the week we accepted enrollment at Lamar we realized that McSwain is an arrogant, smug, self-important dictator who only pays lip service to true academic achievement and who will not return calls despite unctuous assurances that his door is open to all parents. Purging the library of books shows that he is a boot-licking poseur as well. The toxic combination of McSwain and Greer makes me shudder. I guarantee that when our younger child is ready for high school we will have crossed Lamar off our list.

Bonnie
Bonnie

Well - that seals the deal for me. My 8th grader will definitely be attending Carnegie instead of Lamar next year.

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