Breaking News – Arne Duncan has called for a video conference with the DeKalb superintendent and board

August 22, 2013


At the request of the U.S. Secretary of Education, Mr. Arne Duncan, the Superintendent of Schools and members of the DeKalb Board of Education have been asked to engage in a video conference at 9:00 am, Friday, August 23, 2013 in the J. David Williamson Board Room in the Robert R. Freeman Administrative & Instructional Complex, DeKalb County School District, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain. Secretary Duncan requested the video conference to discuss the District’s safe schools plan in connection with the recent incident at Ronald McNair Discovery Learning Academy.

Pursuant to the Georgia Open Meetings Act, the Board declares that special circumstances warrant that this video conference occur as requested by Secretary Duncan.

While there may be a quorum of Board Members present, there will be no official action by the Board.


Dr. Melvin Johnson, Chair
DeKalb Board of Education


c: Members, DeKalb Board of Education
Mr. Michael L. Thurmond, Interim Superintendent
Administrative Cabinet
Public, Press & Media Relations
Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan, LLP
Alexander & Associates, PC

About dekalbschoolwatch

Hosting a dialogue among parents, educators and community members focused on improving our schools and providing a quality, equitable education for each of our nearly 100,000 students. ~ "ipsa scientia potestas est" ~ "Knowledge itself is power"
This entry was posted in DeKalb County, Georgia, Education in the South and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Breaking News – Arne Duncan has called for a video conference with the DeKalb superintendent and board

  1. TracyW says:

    Do we really need to make these plans public so that potential perps know what they are?

  2. All schools should have air tight safe schools plans in writing and regular meetings to discuss school safety. A professional internationally known security expert, Michael Minieri, CPP++ sent us a free copy of his safe schools report. Read more >>

    Click to access school_security_feb2013.pdf

    Feel free to share this report with anyone you know in school security.

    SDM Magazine called Michael Minieri “…one of the most prominent people in the industry…” in a cover story and exclusive interview. Few others have the credentials, experience, skills, knowledge and abilities that our founder has gained in almost 40 years of protecting lives and property of every type in nearly 30 countries..


  3. The thing is — as Michael Thurmond and this ‘reconstituted’ board are learning – this is a very serious JOB. It is NOT a political assignment. It is a critical JOB that requires skills, knowledge and experience that THURMOND DOES NOT HAVE!! This new board knows very little about running a billion dollar school system as well… [not that most of the last board did – or boards before.]

    Suffice it to say – were it not for the God-given gift of Antoinette Tuff – we shudder to think what would have occurred. Antoinette says in her interview that the gunman was fully locked and loaded and ready to kill en masse! [Georgia school suspect had nearly 500 rounds, police said ] He ‘slipped’ in behind a parent going through the security doors. Parents – please pay attention — NEVER hold the door for anyone. Teachers – do not prop open back doors. These rules should be edified and written all around every building. Considering that we spend so many more millions on ‘security’ than other local districts, our actual security is very, very lax. But that’s due to the in-fighting, inexperience and revolving door of severely under-qualified – or just plain greedy and corrupt – superintendents for the last decade.

    Watch this video clip for Michael Thurmond blithering response to the reporter’s question, “How did the district notify parents about what was going on?”

    This is who we have as our Billion Dollar School System Leader, people.

    Big thumbs down please!

  4. concerned citizen says:

    Isn’t this a hot mess of a supt! He has to go!! Parents weren’t notified. But people like me who are in their seventies were called and messages left THEDAYAFTER by Hudson. Now, unfortunately I know Thurmond’s voice, and it is far from cultivated and his grammar is deplorable. But, Hudson was smooth.

  5. bettyandveronica1 says:

    Is Arne calling them to do some back patting? He should be calling to get Ms. Tuff’s number so he could speak with her directly.

  6. thedeal2 says:

    Hey, Arne, why don’t you:

    1) Congratulate Ms. Tuff
    2) Tell Thurmond he had nothing to do with it.
    3) Get down to the business of making this a successful school system.

  7. teachermom says:

    Let’s just say that Arne’s has just flunked his first assignment. He has worked with Thurman before, he should have known how to advise him on the fly…Communicating in emergencies is Communications 101.

  8. teachermom says:

    Arne not Arne’s. C’mon coffee….

  9. @teachermom — you mean Quinn Hudson – our new communications director. Arne Duncan is President Obama’s Secretary of Education… Yep – go and get that coffee!

  10. Read up on Quinn Hudson ( — our brand new communications director – who served as Thurmond’s communications director for his failed 2010 US Senate campaign)…

  11. wiserthanmyself says:

    Also of note…there is no mention of this meeting in the AJC, at least not the online version. The deplorable situation with DCSD is certainly made worst by the lack of serious journalism or any independent agency that investigates all of this and brings the injustices and incompetence to light.

  12. wiserthanmyself says:

    “worse” not “worst”–but perhaps the grammatical error says something, too!

  13. Cute Post Dunwoody Talk Blogspot. I like the faux interview with Arne Duncan and Thurmond — sad, but true. Hey. The guy has said from DAY 1 — he is a politician! And he is!!

    Michael Thurmond Is Protected By Armed Guards, But The Children of DeKalb Are Not

    SD: So tell me about your Safe Schools policy
    MT: Michael Thurmond here Mister Secretary. The Palace… I mean our central office, it has metal detectors, several armed guards to keep me safe. We have 15 new cars that have a flex-fuel option and side airbags. Those will keep my people safe driving around. The textbook money is here and the deficit is erased. SACS loves me. SACS is going to take away our probation as soon as this charter cluster stuff is kicked to the curb and we defeat this independent school system stuff. We have a guy on the inside working for us. Right under their noses I tell you.

    SD: About that incident. How did your employees handle it?
    MT: Michael Thurmond here again. They were great. I drove to the scene immediately. I parked my car-allowance vehicle in front, double parking at the spot reserved for the principal. That is protocol – to park in the principal’s spot anytime me or any of my staff visits a school. Once I knew the kids were safe I looked for TV cameras. I found many cameras and reporters on scene. It is a blessed day in DeKalb. God is great. Our prayers are with the children. But we don’t allow high school graduations indoors at churches because that is wrong. It is a blessed day in DeKalb.

  14. BTW – scroll down to see a clip of Thurmond’s real interview with television crews at the scene. Seems he hired Quinn Hudson just in the nick of time… (if ever a guy needed a spokesperson it’s this guy… )

  15. Midvale Dad says:

    FYI: It is now 12:45 and there is no mention of this on the DCSD website or the BOE eboard site. Mr. Hudson apparently has not figured out how to use Facebook or Twitter as neither of them has been used since July 3.

    It also looks like the K12 Alert system has been dropped. It never worked anyway. How much money did we spend on that?

    Can we ask for the Strategic Communications Plan that was one of the actions promised in Thurmond’s 90-Day plan? It has been 115 days now, the deadline has passed.

  16. This kind of says it all: (From the initial reports of a shooter at McNair)

    Contact info: School officials do not have a hotline set up for parents. Check back at for updates.

  17. @Midvale Dad

    Yes! Definitely request the DeKalb County Schools Strategic Communications Plan under the Open Records Act. Send us what you receive in response and we will publish it.

  18. teachermom says:

    @dsw Yes I meant Hudson. End of second week of school and a little tired.

Comments are closed.