Editor’s Note: About 100 years ago JP Morgan was one of the richest men in the country. Morgan even bailed out Wall Street all by himself a time or two JP also bailed out the US Treasury too. I remember reading about JP Morgan having a discussion with his team of lawyers that worked for him. They were telling JP that what he wanted to do was illegal. JP fired back by saying “I hire you to tell me how to do what I want to do so it’s legal.” The Cleveland County Commissioners need to get a little backbone like JP Morgan and tell their lawyer, Tim Moore, what they want to do and for Tim to figure out how to do it. The issue being a rogue School Board not following the law.
This article is a bit out of order. The latest incident first.
The Commissioner’s Meeting on March 19, 2019. During the Citizens Recognition. Much more happened at the Commissioners meeting that night, but that will be another article. Stay tuned for that.)
There were three persons signed up for Citizens Recognition that night. The last speaker’s address to the Commissioners is what this article is all about.
The lady speaker also brought up her Middle School Student daughter to the podium. The parent told the Commissioners that her daughter had witnessed another girl in class take a razor blade from another girl’s purse and cut her wrist right there in class. The daughter even took some tissue paper and tried to stop the bleeding. The daughter was very upset about seeing all of this.
The teacher led the bleeding girl somewhere. And the next day the girl was back in class like nothing had happened. The Daughter tells her mother that there are a number of other girls at school who also are “cutters.” These girls then go around school showing off their wounds and scars to other girls and brag about it. And the schools do nothing. Even though they just received a $1.7 million grant to help with mental health issues and are putting in for a grant renewal next year. As for me, if these girls going around cutting themselves and bragging about it is not a mental health issue, then nothing is. So, where is the $1.7 Million going???
Now the mother gets fired up.
The mother, name withheld to minimize harassment from CCS, was incensed that her daughter was traumatized by having to witness such as this in school as well as fear for her own safety because of girls carrying around razors. If they were mental cases enough to cut themselves, who knows who else they would cut. And, why was the school not doing anything to get this girl and other girls help. The mother called the Principal, the Superintendent and about everybody in between about this situation. She found out about the $1.7 million mental health grant that was not being used for the purpose it was intended. She called School Board Member Danny Blanton.
Danny Blanton was the most help to the mother as he explained to the mother the steps she would have to take to bring her complaints to the full school board. And, what a joke that turned out to be.
After about four months they had a hearing on the mother’s complaint. It was a closed-door hearing so nothing about this was recorded in the CCS website videos of the meeting. After the hearing the minutes of the Closed-Door hearing was brought up for school board approval at the March 11, 2019 School Board meeting.
At the March 11, 2019 school board meeting Danny Blanton lowered the boom on the rest of the school board. Blanton reminded the other school board members, especially Phillip Glover and Coleman Hunt, who tried to exclude Blanton from the Closed-Door hearing. Blanton refused to leave. And at the March 11, 2019 meeting Blanton reminded the rest of the board about that. Blanton also stated that the minutes of the Closed-Door Hearing was not correct and made the motion to have the minutes revised to fairly and accurately describe what happened in the meetings as state law requires.
Guess what happened next. Nothing!! No other board member would second Blanton’s motion and the falsified minutes were approved 8-1. Danny Blanton was the one opposition vote. Folks, I attended this meeting, along with Commissioners Doug Bridges and Deb Hardin. We all witnessed this fiasco of a school board meeting, but we were unsure of what actually happened because of the closed-door session. My article about this meeting was published March 13, 2019. Scroll on b ack as re-read that article too.
Now, fast forward to the March 19, 2019 Commissioner’s meeting when the mother shows up and signs up for citizens recognition. The mother fills in the blanks in her three minutes that the commissioners have to allow. And when she is cut off at the end of her three minutes (actually, with her daughter there, she should have been allowed six minutes between the both of them), County Attorney Tim Moore speaks up and tells the Commissioners that the school board is a separate entity and the Commissioners have no authority on how CCS does business.
That is what reminded me of JP Morgan and what he told his team of lawyers. If the Commissioners had any backbone, they would have told Attorney Tim Moore that the safety of kids in schools are everybody’s responsibility and to look into what the Commissioners can do to rein in the rogue CCS School Board. And they can do a lot. Remember when Tim Moore had the law changed to take the appointment powers for Cleveland Community College away from the School Board and give that power to the Commissioners? Remember when Tim Moore had the law changed to move the School Board elections to even numbered years when turnout would be much higher? Remember how Tim Moore changed the law to make the School Board partisan elections? Remember how Tim Moore changed the law to take away the powers of the DSS Board and give those powers to the Commissioners? Remember who charges and collects property taxes in Cleveland County? The Commissioners.
No Tim, there are plenty that can be done by the Commissioners to require transparency and accountability from the School Board, or just dissolve them and take control themselves. All that is needed is direction from the Commissioners and the School Board in Cleveland County can be made to disappear. All that is necessary to start this process is three commissioners with enough backbone to tell Tim Moore what they want and let Tim Moore figure out how to do it. To make it happen. Enough is enough for this rogue school board running CCS. Why wait until the 2020 elections to get rid of five? Get rid of them all, now. And make Danny Blanton the School board “Boss” until whatever is the long-term plan can be worked out.
Things are actually very simple when you put your mind to it.