April 11, 2007

Union Parish has suffered a terrible loss. This loss is one that could affect every student in the entire Union Parish School District, the loss of accountability.


If there are no ramifications for making a mistake, how can we be certain that anything was learned? And, if nothing is learned from the mistake, how can we be certain that the same mistakes will not be repeated?


This has been a really tough time for Union Parish and Louisiana. I doubt anyone drew any pleasure from the national coverage of the Spearsville incident, especially given Bill O’Reilly’s exaggerated indignation. But, are we to just let the fury die down and continue on the same path that has brought us to where we are now, or should we actually change course with someone new at the helm?


If, as adults, we are to lead by example, how can we ignore the example being set for our students if we do not hold those in-charge accountable for their mistakes and shortcomings? With the decision to not renew Ms. Mabry’s contract for School Superintendent, the obvious perception is that the School Board did indeed make the right decision, ESPECIALLY with the burden of a lawsuit Ms. Mabry has now placed upon the Parish.


Making matters worse for Ms. Mabry is the fact that three State Legislators tried to meet with Ms. Mabry to discuss the problems being experienced in Union Parish and offer their help to turn the Parish around.


Ms. Mabry refused the meeting.


Take this in combination with Ms. Mabry’s refusal to explore alternatives to the “single-high school plan” which was defeated by a resounding margin, and Ms. Mabry’s amazement that the proposal failed, and you have a recipe that begs for an IMMEDIATE RESIGNATION.. If not, what are we willing to suffer next by not holding Ms. Mabry accountable now?


How many more students do we have to lose, like those lost when Ms. Mabry effectively lied to the Rocky Branch Community by closing the Rocky Branch school, before we say, enough?


How many more stories on Fox News and CNN do we have to endure before we realize that different leadership is the only thing that can begin a necessary healing?


Along with Ms. Mabry, consideration has to be given to the replacement of those District Supervisors that have let down the entire parish. Perhaps those Supervisors should be put back in the classroom or dismissed entirely, and allow others more qualified to assist in making certain that the best education possible is delivered, while maintaining a proper decorum in our classrooms, and giving much more consideration to jeopardizing our children’s lives by bussing them across the second largest parish in the state on the worst highways Louisiana has to offer.


There is much good to be said for a fresh start.

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