Small yard signs exclaiming "The LPSB Hates Black Children!" are inflaming racial tensions the week the Lafayette Parish School Board is scheduled to vote on a controversial proposal to convert N.P. Moss Middle School into a career and technical high school. The signs have recently cropped up on a handful of street corners in predominantly black neighborhoods on the north side of town, in and around areas zoned for N.P. Moss. Thus far, no one has claimed responsibility for the signs.
Greg Davis, a member of 100 Black Men of Greater Lafayette and chairman of the Lafayette Parish Public Education Stakeholders Council, has been a vocal opponent of closing N.P. Moss as a middle school. He says he does not know who put up the signs but feels that it is definitely tied to the N.P. Moss issue.
"I'm disappointed that we are having this kind of reaction," he says, "but I do think that it is an indication of how much frustration there is in the north side community. Right now, I am sensing lots of frustration from lots of people who believe that they are absolutely powerless in influencing the school board not to close N.P. Moss Middle School."
"There are lots of people," he continues, "that are feeling like it's a hopeless situation and they have little ability to influence the school board to keep the school open. The disconnect and the gap between the north side community and the Lafayette Parish School System is bigger than it's ever been and when things deteriorate to where they are now, those are the kind of reactions that you can probably expect. People are very disappointed that we are facing the possible closing of a fifth school in the north side community."
Davis is referring to the closures of St. Antoine Elementary, J.Wallace James Elementary, Truman Elementary and Vermilion Elementary, all of which have been closed over the past ten years due to judicial orders in the school system's desegregation case. At its Wednesday meeting, the school board is scheduled to take up the issue of a career and technical high school — something that the school system has been studying for over a decade. The school board is currently considering four options recommended by facilities consulting firm CSRS for creating a technical high school — two of which involve the conversion of N.P. Moss. The other options are to house the school at Louisiana Technical College or to build a new school. The board brought up the issue at a heavily attended meeting two weeks ago, but then tabled the agenda item.
To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.
OCT 21 Two St. John Parish employees were indicted in connection with the ameoba found in the parish water supply, WVUE reports in this post. They are accused of lying about testing the water for proper chlorine levels, the story says, claims that were contradicted by their government vehicles' GPS records.
OCT 21 Here's an interesting story from the National Journal about New Orleans almost 10 years post-Katrina. There are demographic information and charts, as well as some commentary about the corresponding changes in the way the city looks and works.
OCT 21 Gambit offers its endorsements for the upcoming election in this post, including an endorsement of U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu. The best way to protect Louisiana's clout is to re-elect the senior senator, the paper opines. Sending a Republican in her place won't accomplish anything, the paper adds.
OCT 21 The McClatchy DC blog posts this fascinating view of Louisiana's political landscape. It's a little heavy on the cliches, and also a little heavy on the quaint Cajun/Creole shtick, but it's still good reading -- if only for the outside view of our insides.
OCT 21 An audit finds very little federal oversight of coastal restoration grants, the Advocate reports here. Two federal agencies charged with overseeing how the money was spent didn't oversee the grants properly, didn't know enough about how the grants were supposed to be spent, and provided conflicting records about the money, the audit found.
OCT 21 The first Senate debate featuring all three candidates was a big ho-hum, columnist Jim Beam writes in this post. Nobody said anything new or interesting, and nobody emerged the clear winner, he says.
OCT 21 Bobby Jindal can't seem to leave Daniel Malloy alone, this post on NOLA Defender says. On a recent trip to stump for another GOP'er (Ever wonder: does any of his stumping really help these guys? Or is he just trying to get his name in other newspapers?) Jindal again ran afoul of Connecticut's Governor, who has no problem calling Bobby on his claims, the post tells us.
OCT 21 Jeremy Alford writes about David Vitter's playbook in this post, and frankly, there are some things we don't want to know. We've all heard about what's in that book, haven't we? That kind of stuff is not our idea of a good -- oh, wait. Jeremy's writing about Vitter's political playbook. Never mind.
OCT 20 Remember those great posts from blogger Jason Brad Berry that featured emails and letters related to the BP claims process? Well, apparently Patrick Juneau (who was featured, but not in a positive way, in those documents) ordered a background check on Berry because of it, this story in Louisiana Record says. Huh?
OCT 20 The Globe and Mail, a Canadian paper, has posted its story on Louisiana's coastal loss here. In it, author Omar El Akkad clarifies it neatly: it's "a battle between prosperity and the planet's well-being." Are jobs and money worth the trade we're making? As Jonathan Foret says in the story, Mother Nature may come and answer that question for us.
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly