As regular readers of DeKalb School Watch blog know, DeKalb County Schools is highly resistant to following the law — especially with regard to Georgia’s Open Records Act. Nowhere is this illegal resistance to following the law more apparent than with Superintendent Cheryl Howell Atkinson (including her predecessors Ramona Howell Tyson & Crawford Lewis) and Ronald Ramsey, recently demoted to Director of Student Relations and Safe Schools.
[NOTE: Ramsey resigned as Chief Legal Officer on November 15, 2012, asked to be reassigned to Director of Student Relations and stated that he will be taking the “reduced” salary of $114,487.00. We want to know: (1) what about the 40 days in the Georgia General Assembly for which he collects double pay?; (2) what about his DCSS car?; and (3) why wasn’t Ramsey fired instead of merely being forced to resign as Chief Legal Officer and allowed to pick his next job? Very reminiscent of the Crawford Lewis-Pat Pope-Ramona Howell Tyson caper.]
Currently, Atkinson and Ramsey have been trying desperately to skirt the law by refusing to provide Atkinson’s text messages that relate to a RIF’d DeKalb County Schools employee.
As an example of how truly irrelevant it has become, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (including Maureen Downey) continues its “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” philosophy as it turns a blind eye to the corruption and wrongdoing in DeKalb County Schools. “Why?” we wonder. We are reminded of a quote from Alfred Lord Northcliffe (1865-1922), Britsh newspaper and publishing pioneer, “News is what somebody somewhere wants to suppress; all the rest is advertising.” By that measure, the AJC is chock-full of advertising. [The above quote is sometimes attributed to the late, great Katharine Graham (1917-2001), publisher of The Washington Post].
DeKalb School Watch has obtained a copy of the resulting legal action with regard to Atkinson’s oh-so-private text messages. The Gipson Complaint is a public document. It’s only 24 pages long (double-spaced), so please take time to read it and let us know your thoughts.
Here’s what we think: for every one of these stories and related documents that surface, there may be hundreds that never do because of fear of retaliation. Folks, these are NOT nice people. It is time to stop giving them the same benefit of the doubt and consideration that would be provided to well-meaning people who have acted in error.