Friday, October 21, 2016

Outrage and Protest

Two Sundays ago, the local newspaper published the following article in which a local public school board member attacked the public school system. Shocking, right? Read the article (if you can). I'll see you back at the end.


Board member says APSD has failed its students

   Avoyelles Parish public schools have failed students and their parents and should be avoided by parents if at all possible, one School Board member posted on her Facebook.
  In a Sept. 24 post to “Avoyelles Parish public school parents,” Shelia Blackman-Dupas wrote that “with the exception of children attending Lafargue Elementary School, this system has done a disservice to both you and your child. Children in this system should be priorities, and not ‘warm bodies’ to fill seats for MFP funds.”
   Superintendent Blaine Dauzat called the board member’s comments “disappointing.”
  Blackman-Dupas’ online comments were not discussed at the board’s Oct. 4 meeting. However, she said after the meeting that she stands behind those comments -- which includes encouraging parents to send their children to charter schools and private schools, rather than nine of the 10 APSD schools.
   She noted that several board members “send their children or grandchildren to the charter school or to a private school. That speaks volumes. If we don’t think the school system is good enough for our children, then why is the system good enough for others?”
  Board member Chris LaCour’s two children attend Avoyelles Public Charter School in Mansura, as does Van Kojis’ three grandchildren. Board member Mike Lacombe’s grandchildren attend the parochial Sacred Heart School in Moreauville.
   Kojis said he has three grandchildren at APCS, “but I don’t tell my children where to send their children to school.”
   LaCour had no comment on the matter, but has mentioned in past board meeting discussions that his children attend the public charter school.
   Lacombe noted that his three children all attended St. Mary’s Catholic school in Cottonport until they entered high school. All three attended and graduated from Bunkie High.
  “I highly recommend, that if you see Red River (Charter) Academy recruiting in your community, sign your kids up,” Blackman-Dupas wrote in her Facebook post. “When Avoyelles Public Charter School accepts applications for new students, take some time to go and sign your child up. At a minimum, your child deserves an opportunity to receive a good, solid education.”
  The Mansura board member said most of the district’s schools have failed to provide a good, solid education and places the blame on the School Board for being more concerned with the student enrollment numbers than about the students.
   “Meanwhile, the kids are failing miserably,” Blackman-Dupas added.
   She said her children are grown, so she does not have to face that issue herself. However, she noted that she is raising a 1-year-old great-niece and “ I can assure you that if she were entering school today, I absolutely would not enroll her in this public school system.”
   In her message to parents, Blackman-Dupas said those who hope their children will obtain higher education should “seek alternative education for him/her as soon as possible, for it is highly unlikely they will be prepared in the Avoyelles Parish public school system.”


Anonymous said...

As the saying goes, sometimes you just have to do the right thing. No one who works for a company would dare to say take your business elsewhere and expect to have a job. It just doesn't make sense that this school board member would say this about her school.

Karen S said...

Well done. Sometimes you have to speak up.

Kaja said...

Good for you, Mary!

jenclair said...

Way to go, Mary! I am truly impressed with your response to Mrs. Dupas! Using social media to shift blame is common now, but what a surprise to see a school board member make such remarks.