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.
NOV 26 Zach Kopplin, who we came to know and love when he was a Louisiana high school student lobbying for the continued inclusion of science stuff in science class, pens this post in The Atlantic about a "textbook" available for social studies instruction in Texas that discusses how Moses contributed to the Constitution. (Oy! Texas rednecks love Jews. Who knew?)
NOV 26 Finally, mad people on the interwebz is a good thing! World wide webby outrage has caused the village of Moreauville to reverse its plan to confiscate pit bulls and Rottweillers and euthanize them simply because of their breed, WAFB reports here. The plan? They're going to enforce the lease law. Well - that would have been a good place to start.
NOV 26 Jim Brown, like many of us Louisiana voters, seems fed up with out of town know-it-alls trying to tell us what to do. Bill Cassidy can't make it through the day without flying someone in to "tell us political retards" how to vote, he says.
NOV 26 Blogger Tom Aswell is writing about the behavior of the two finalists in the 6th Congressional District race: Edwin Edwards and Garret Graves. Edwards has come out swinging, but Graves' campaign seems bent on snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, Tom says.
NOV 26 Unless you're in Virigina, you shouldn't count on seeing our Governor on Election Day. Mark Ballard writes in the Advocate's political blog that Bobby will be appearing at a GOP love fest of some kind there, instead of spending the day here.
NOV 26 This post on The Lens takes a look at the ongoing dispute in New Orleans over the banners about the upcoming tax election for the school system. The banners are hanging on schools, and some feel they are promotional, which is not allowed, instead of educational - which is allowed.
NOV 26 Not all college students are focused on football games and parties at this time of year. This post on DIG Baton Rouge recounts an LSU student group that tries to make sure that those who are hungry and homeless are not forgotten by those of us who aren't.
NOV 25 Edwin Edwards took off the gloves on Monday, this post on WAFB tells us. At a Press Club appearance, he wondered how his 6th Congressional District opponent, Garret Graves, could be an expert in all the areas in which he claims to be - when he has no college degree in anything. (Five years - FIVE YEARS - in college, but no degree. Huh?)
NOV 25 Blogger Mike Deshotels offers this primer on predatory charter schools and how they operate, specifically in Louisiana. They're not just profiting from our tax dollars, they're using children and shortchanging them to do so, Deshotels says.
NOV 25 Here's a link to the petition that has been created to save Zeus, a family dog who is targeted for death by the learned fathers of the Avoyelles Parish village of Moreauville. They passed an ordinance based on nothing that outlaws pit bulls and Rotweillers. As of Tuesday morning, the petition had more than 230,000 signatures - a number that's a wee bit higher than the village population of 929.
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly