Audience Erupts in "Fire Terry Grier" Chant as HISD School Board Closes Dodson, Saves Jones (Sort Of)
A major sticking point was that as a specialty school, the new Jones will not have any athletic teams. Students there would instead try out for teams on what would have been their home schools. As Ted Weisgal of Leisure Learning, who started an afterschool program at Johnston Middle School 12 years ago, put it: "To kill the athletic program sounds like a way to chip away at Jones High School."
Robert S. Muhammad, a Muslim minister, told the trustees, "We're not here to save Jones High School or Dobson. We've here to save you from this broke-down illegitimate concept that's been given to you by the superintendent's office."
Speaker Ruth Kravetz made comments echoed by many others saying that Jones had not been given the right resources and that its students had been used as guinea pigs for one educational theory after another.
"HISD performed an untested experiment called Apollo on the children of Jones. And when Apollo failed, HISD recommended the school's closure. This would not have happened in a middle-class neighborhood. Our schools are not a failed business plan where you throw up your arms and say, 'Oh no, better luck next time.' Our schools are a public trust."
Kofi Taharka, who said he was with the National Black United Front, told the board: "We're calling on you to remove the current superintendent. We are rejecting the idea that there should be an amendment. Send this superintendent packing and then you will begin to start the process of having a real school board."
As he walked back to his seat, Taharka said to the crowd: "Run his ass out of town."