Audience Erupts in "Fire Terry Grier" Chant as HISD School Board Closes Dodson, Saves Jones (Sort Of)
Stipeche warned she would call a recess. Moments later, another speaker, yelling, told Grier he was coming after him, watching his financial dealings. The room erupted with yelling and it was at that point that board president Stipeche called for the recess as police escorted the man from the room.
Texas Representative Borris Miles said he had been working with HISD to come up with a compromise on Jones and urged the crowd to accept the new proposal. "If this amendment does not pass, Jones will be shut down. We don't have the votes.
The amendment will allow Jones to stay open, allow us to have three years to put into place a quality vocational high tech program at Jones because if they do not, it'll be closed."
By the time the board took up consideration of Dodson, some of the fire had left the room. Speakers extolled Dodson's Montessori program -- which is being moved to Blackshear Elementary where many of the students will be rezoned to -- but nothing was said about Dodson's percentage of kids reading on grade level, which is actually lower in some cases than at Blackshear.
There were allegations that the district had stopped accepting applications to Dodson and that while it is being shut down for low enrollment, it actually has a waiting list. HISD officials have said, though, that there are too few students living in that area of town.
Another bone of contention was that several trustees and Grier periodically left their places at the board table and speakers made it clear they didn't understand how the board and administration could say they were listening to their concerns when they didn't stay to hear them.
Three other schools had initially been proposed for closure -- Henderson and Port Houston elementaries and Fleming Middle School -- but Stipeche exercised her executive authority and removed them from consideration.