Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Proud Mom Moment

This coming Saturday, my oldest child, the one who has been with me the longest, is going to be on stage in a recital hall in the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin for his Junior Recital.  When he first told me that this would be happening, I was amazed at how fast time has gone by.

It seems like just yesterday I was seeing him off on his very first solo trip to Austin for freshman orientation.  That day, I was supposed to go with him but realized that I couldn't just go and leave Nicholas and David at home.  I mean, what was I thinking?  So, I did the only thing I could do...I put my trust in God and in Brenham and I waved goodbye to him as he started on his journey.  He did fine that week.  He went to lots of orientation information meetings, he made friends, and he realized that Austin was where he was supposed to be.  He had found his new home.

Now, three years later, he is a junior and is hosting this recital for everyone to come enjoy.  Not only has he found his home, he has grown exponentially in his music studies.  He has had an amazing teacher who has nurtured his voice and it shows.  I always knew he was talented, but the extent of his talent has gone beyond anything I ever imagined.  He sings opera.  Opera.  I don't know very many opera singers who weigh about as much as a feather.  The voice that comes out of him is phenomenal.  It shocks everyone when he sings.

So on Friday, Nicholas, David and my self will be heading to Austin to listen to this wonderfully talented young man sing.  I am so very proud of him and all of his accomplishments.  If you are in Austin this weekend, please come hear him.  The recital is free and there will be a reception afterward.  He would love to have a full house. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Turning Over a New Leaf

I haven't posted much since December, with reason.  A lot happened in December and the new year hasn't been much different.  But here's my post to turn over a new leaf, yet again.

Beaumont and the BISD has been going through a lot of turmoil for several years.  Led by board members who are more concerned with control and race than with working for the best interest of the students, the board spiraled down until, today, TEA Commissioner Michael Williams responded to reports by two different committees with the announcement that he will appoint a board of managers and a conservator to take over BISD.  As was expected, our delusional board members responded with claims of political bias and racial bias.  The following is my response to the comment made by Woodrow Reece.  (His comment included.)

"I recommended a conservator but not the death penalty. We didn't do anything as bad as El Paso or other districts that were taken over. I know there are powerful people in Beaumont who wanted a takeover. And he (Commissioner Williams) is a Republican, bless his soul. The kids will be okay. But at the end of the day, you bring some folks in here, you'll further divide the community. This community is still split. When the TEA leaves, the community will be split again." ~ Woodrow Reece

I have a reply for Mr. Reece:

Not only was a conservator necessary, the "death penalty" for the board and superintendent was also necessary. When a majority on the board, backed by the superintendent and their attorney, consistently ignore the voices of the voters, it's time for action from higher authority. Yes, there are powerful people in Beaumont who wanted BISD to be taken over...they are called the voters who decided that a 5-2 board was what they wanted.

When the current board, you included Mr. Reece, decided that it didn't matter what the voters wanted, you showed your blatant disregard for the will of the voters. No matter that the majority of the votes came from one part of town, that is not the fault of the voters who took the time to cast their votes. If it was truly the will of the majority in Beaumont, a majority you say is black and in charge of the schools, they would have gotten out to vote and defeated the initiative. That did not happen. Since that vote, it has been shown that the Gof4 on the board had no intention of implementing the will of the voters.

But the problems go back farther than the vote. The problems go to the constant disregard for the entire city of Beaumont. You and your Gof4 put a name on the stadium that was only intended to create division...it was a "we can do what we want" moment for your little group and it only caused more pressure to be placed on the board to make changes that needed to be made. You and your friends feel like you have been wronged in the past so now that you have "control" you will use it to the detriment of the entire district. I have heard many times "the white people did it, so why can't we" so many times....but instead of just trying to "stick it to the man," why not be a bigger person and just do what is right for the students of BISD and not let your hurt feelings get in the way?

Your new allegation is that this take over is happening because Mr. Williams is a Republican...really? The people who have been calling for change for years are racists and Mr. Williams is a Republican and those are the only reasons for wanting things to be better in BISD? When will you and the rest of the Gof4 realize this is about you and your need to control, not any racial or political agenda on the part of the citizens and voters? You are afraid of people being brought in from outside of the area that you can't control. You are afraid that this Republican is going to appoint white people to tell you what to do.

This community is still split. On that one issue, I agree with you. The split is there because of people like you who make such divisive statements as the one you made today. You and Ms. Bush came out talking about what is happening to you. Mr. Neil came out and talked about how it could have been prevented and how, even though he will feel the brunt as well, he acknowledges it is for the best and will do whatever he can to help in the process. It's a shame that you and Ms. Bush, Ms. Ambres, and Mr. Williams cannot just acknowledge your roles in this debacle. Instead you whine and call names and show your true colors.

Maya Angelou stated "When people show you who they are, believe them the first time." I believed who all of you were when not one of you chastised Ms. Bush when she talked at the board meeting of "people who look like" her. That was as racist of a statement as has ever been uttered in the BISD board room. That is who you are. That is who all of you are. I believed it then, I believe it now. It has been your mantra for over 20 years. It will be your mantra for the rest of eternity. Until people like you decide that it is time to do away with that attitude, this city, this state, this country will never move forward and there will never be true equality for everyone in this country.

If you don't want this community to be split when the TEA leave, it would behoove you to not try to be re-elected to the board. None of the board, including Mr. Neil and Mr. Neild, should try to become a board member again. Not only would that cause further division and more fighting and waste of funds in litigation, it would just be in poor taste. The time the TEA will be in charge is not a time-out. It is a game over for you. Your game is over, Mr. Reece and the rest of the Gof4. Pack up your things and vacate the board room. Your presence is no longer needed.