It’s Groundhog Day — AGAIN! — in DeKalb County Schools

This was your one chance DeKalb County.  Never again will there be an opportunity to have a clean sweep of the school board and you blew it.

You voted for same-old-same-old. In every district, except district #1, the incumbents garnered the most votes.

You voted for a board that supports a bloated central office.  You voted for ignoring corruption.  You voted for continued ineptness.  You voted for greed.  You voted to continue treating teachers disrespectfully.  You voted for cover-ups, secrecy, and non-responsiveness. You voted for a board that endorses the administrative leadership of DeKalb schools.

In addition, you essentially told anyone in the future not to bother spending their time, energy and money running for a school board seat the old-fashioned, American way – by grassroots campaigning. You weren’t listening. You are too busy and too apathetic to be bothered to find out who these candidates really are and what they stand for. You just ‘bought’ the media message pushed out by the board and the superintendent that ‘all is well’ now and they have magically fixed everything! Come back and tell us you believe that after the next round of test results and graduation reports. Come back and tell how happy you are with your child’s new ‘temporary’ teacher – placed there by an insider temp agency paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to ‘supply’ teachers – as if they are office materials.

If you think anything will change for the better now, you are sadly mistaken.  Why should the same system administrators who drove DeKalb County Schools into the ditch do anything but more of the same?  You told them you like it! Or worse, you let them know that you simply don’t really care.

  • Only 54,973 voters in DeKalb County decided the fate of a billion dollar enterprise.  Want statistics?  Here they are:  10% of the eligible voters in DeKalb County voted.  In fact, the number of voters equaled approximately 55% of the number of students in DeKalb County Public Schools.
  • Only 24,815 people voted for a clean slate and a chance to save DeKalb County Schools.  That is less than 5% of the eligible voters in DeKalb – a group about ¼ the size of DeKalb County Schools student population

DeKalb County, you were so apathetic that the number of voters did not even equal the number of public school students.

  • If you voted for an incumbent in the school board race – shame on you!
  • If you did not vote at all, no excuse is valid – shame on you!



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"
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64 Responses to It’s Groundhog Day — AGAIN! — in DeKalb County Schools

  1. thedeal2 says:

    I don’t think Howdy knows. He/she said “if this situation happened”…

  2. DSW2Contributor says:

    I suspect “Frustrated citizen” is referring to Idlewood.

  3. concernedmom30329 says:

    I heard an interview on the radio where Governor Deal said that he got more votes than Carter (running against him) and Michelle Nunn (running for US Senator) — both democrats — got in the primary. I had been very concerned about turnout because there wasn’t a high position on the top to generate voters. Both Nunn and Carter were pretty much assured their party’s nomination, in fact Carter had no opposition and Nunn’s opposition was nothing more than a nuisance. The sheriff’s race was too crowded and not enough to draw out substantial voters.

    The runoff may actually be better because both sheriff’s candidate’s will be working hard at turning out the vote….

  4. howdy1942 says:

    @DSW – Just to clarify – I was not present at the meeting described by the previous comment and have no knowledge of the incident other than what he/she described. If the incident was described accurately, then it is urgent and critical for it to be reported. If this blogger is not comfortable going to Mr. Thurmond (he is the top officer in the Dekalb County School System), then he/she should contact the police department for either action or guidance. In the comment, he/she stated that one of the causes of the melee involved jockeying for position to take pictures, so there must be some pictures or video of this incident.

    My point is that there were tempers and a breakdown in order. Children, especially those in kindergarten, were “captives” of this crowd and not able to fend for themselves. Accordingly, they were in danger. As described, there were apparently no authorities or security personnel present. No situation that places any child in danger in our school system can be tolerated, condoned, dismissed, or forgotten unless steps are taken by authorities to minimize the chances of it happening again. I don’t know which school in Tucker is involved, but I live in Tucker and I am very concerned that it happened in our community. If I knew any facts of this case, then I would be happy to either accompany this blogger to the police or go alone.

    In short, I strongly believe in order and discipline in our schools and will do whatever I can to insure that the learning environment in our schools is safe, free from intimidation and fear, and supportive of our students.

  5. Another comment says:

    It is a shame that the same behavior by the same group of parents starts in Kindergarten and continues in the 50% of this crowd that makes it to high school graduation. Then they proceed to absolutely wreck the graduation ceremony for everyone else. If your kids go to an elementary school and this happens in Kindergarten, just wait until High School Graduation and the lack of proper behavior. It is beyond tacky.

  6. Sorry, Howdy! We have been meeting ourselves coming and going this week, we were outraged by the continued bad behavior and incompetent administrators in DCSS, and we missed the “if” in your first sentence. We apologize for jumping to conclusions and snapping at you. Not our finest hour!

  7. An Aside: FWIW — School volunteers are not always the best idea. Most are never vetted, no background checks are done and they do not have to be bonded or insured in any way. Volunteers can sometimes end up being a liability >>

  8. concerned citizen says:

    Does anyone know what consequences resulted from the kindergarten “scandal”?
    Re the madness and downright crudeness of the parents/relatives/even the graduates themselves at most high schools in DeKalb, the very people the great teachers in the county are trying to uplift, show behavior that is unacceptably ignorant. These people seem to see graduation as an occasion to show out and off. It’s wild, it’s crazy, and it would take a small army to control a situation that should be happy and pleasant for all. Is it that the parents/students/friends of the graduate really can’t believe the student graduated? Of course, this begins with kindergarten graduation, fifth grade graduation, any ceremony really that schools try to host. Where do these people come from? It’s incomprehensible that adults could behave the way they do. Then, these adults try to blame the school administration for problems they have created. Well, no doubt, the recent “situation” at whatever elementary school it is definitely should have been attended by the principal or assistant principal and the fifth grade graduation as well; still, shouldn’t the adults there have been able and expected to show some signs of maturity and dignity and common sense? It’s really stupid behavior from the parents, and I agree 100% with Another comment.

  9. Worriedaboutthenumbers says:

    If you think that voters in District 4 chose the incumbents because they want the same old same old, you are sadly mistaken. Your implication is that any new candidate is better than the incumbents. That is entirely foolish. I voted against Osellette precisely because I did not want the old board back -he would have been deja vu all over again (like McChesney and ‘I’ll-play-you-by-telling-you-what-you-want-to-hear’ Jester).

  10. Why would DSW2Contributor make a statement like that? (Throwing Idlewood automatically under the bus.) My guess would have been Smoke Rise because the statement referred to a “Tucker Cluster” school, not necessarily a school in Tucker. Smoke Rise is in Stone Mountain, GA, officially, but is trying to change its name to Smoke Rise so they would be the only school to actually fit the bill of being “cluster,” if that is even an accepted term for feeder patterns. It is a school with a male principal who has ruffled feathers on more than one occasion. It is known for being a charter that does not serve any of / or many of the children in the actual community. Why doesn’t someone suggest that the Tucker Parent Council look into this story since they did such a great job checking out the story about the missing books at Tucker High School? Oh yeah… that’s right….

  11. FWIW, we have received confirmation that this kindergarten fiasco did indeed occur at Idlewood ES.

  12. howdy1942 says:

    I was interested in the comment made by a previous blogger about high school graduations. I agree. Not only have high school graduations become, in my words, loud and, at times, out of control, but they have become disrespectful of the splendor of the occasion. Graduations are supposed to be pomp and circumstance, and opportunity for many to recognize the accomplishments of the few. That is not done when a few parents, brothers, sisters, friends of a specific graduate “shout out” or “dance” to disrespect others in attendance. I distinctly remember the tears in the eyes of both my mother and father, a veteran of Normandy, following my graduation – they were very proud! Graduation is not some “shouting contest” or an occasion for someone to show how obnoxious they can be. Keep you seats, respect others around you, and respect the dignity that this occasion should reflect.

    Those who cannot refrain from shouting or disrupting the dignity of the occasion should be removed from the ceremony and not allowed to return – period – no exceptions!!

  13. dsw2contributor says:

    GETtheCELLoutATL @ June 2, 2014 at 1:11 PM – Why would DSW2Contributor (throw Idlewood under the bus)?

    GET, all I did was look at the list of schools in the Tucker cluster and pick the male elementary principal who is most frequently overruled by the Palace.

  14. Regarding the incident at Idlewood, I want to highlight what “Frustrated Citizen” posted back on May 28, 2014 at 1:09 AM: “The parents were out of control and were shouting profanities over frustration concerning taking photos of their children.”

    PARENTS were shouting profanities in front of children, so do NOT blame the Principal for shutting everything down – that was the only responsible thing he could do. (Remember, our elementary schools do not have police officers.)

  15. @dsw contributor: as we understood it, the principal was not in attendance. There were only teachers – no administrators or security. Interesting that a principal chose to forgo an event with parents… if true.

  16. DSW,

    Elementary schools are not assigned security officers, so security officers are never present at events.

    No offense intended, but your characterization that “a principal chose to forgo an event” shows that you have no clue about how busy principals are!

    There are only two Administrators at elementary schools: the Principal and the Assistant. Both of them could have been needed elsewhere in the building. For example, suppose a visiting adult had been acting creepy around children, or a parent had hit a child, or a child had gone missing — both administrators would have been responding to that incident, instead of meeting-and-greeting parents.

    Principals also spend much of their time commuting to Mountain Industrial, for mandatory in-person meetings. The Palace does not bother to look at school event calendars when scheduling these mandatory, in-person meetings. While I don’t know when the Idlewood incident happened, I do know that principals had a lot of mandatory meetings during the final two weeks of the school year.

  17. Frustrated citizen says:

    The Idlewood principal was in his office when the kindergarten graduation fiasco took place. Parents went to the office and demanded that he come to the event. Like I said, then he chose NOT to attend the fifth grade graduation. The past principal went to every graduation and every honor’s day event.

  18. @dswcontributor: As you can see from frustrated citizen’s comments, we did not ‘characterize’ the principal. We were simply stating that he apparently chose not to attend – as was stated in the original comment on the subject. Read back to the beginning of this thread and you will see that we didn’t simply make an assumption, we were going on what we had been told earlier in the comments of this post.

  19. dsw2contributor says:

    DSW and “Frustrated Citizen”,

    What I am trying to say is that none of us know why the Principal, was in his office, so none of us are in a position to say that he “chose not to attend” the kindergarten event.

    For all we know, a female parent showed up intoxicated and was making passes at male parents. The Principal would have had to remove that parent and keep her away from children until her ride arrived. The second administrator would also need to be present, to serve as a witness.

  20. Atticus LeBlanc offended many by sending out two separate postcards. One had an African American on it and the other had his family on it. Why not just send one postcard to everyone? Why include Equal Rights on the one thst had the African Anerican on it? If you include “bridging the racial divide” why send out a flyer that probably wasn’t meant to offend, but when voters discovered he sent out two it gives the appearance of being racially insensitive.

  21. @dswcontributor: You said, “For all we know, a female parent showed up intoxicated and was making passes at male parents. The Principal would have had to remove that parent and keep her away from children until her ride arrived. The second administrator would also need to be present, to serve as a witness.”

    Great story — do tell!

  22. This quote from a post informing us that a highly qualified DeKalb administrator has left our system for a better opportunity is very enlightening – and just about says it all >>

    “Marietta City Schools has educational goals and expectations that foster innovative ideas. It is an honor to join a school system with so much promise and passion for the students served every day.”–West-Side-Elementary

  23. dekalbschoolwatch says:

    Something very strange has happened.

    Below is the map the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office posted on May 21st this year.

    If you go there now, the map has changed and DeKalb went from less than 10% to over 20% turnout. Quite the voting irregularity.

  24. Travelinfool says:

    Atticus LeBlanc is a one note candidate. I still don’t understand why anyone in District 3 within the Avondale Elem area would vote for Druid Hills Charter Cluster. No one would, if DHCC, was approved tomorrow who is in a middle to upper income household, whether they be black or white, would send their child there. It does nothing special for that school and none of the parents who could have made a difference for that area even appeared at more than 1 meeting, yet they are all jumping on the AB’s bandwagon and don’t have a clue whats in there for them. Ask any of them to sit down and in small, not great, detail, expound on the merits of DHCC and you won’t get much. dHCC allows you to transfer your child to Fernbank which is at or near capacity so chances are that won’t happen.

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