This morning Montgomery school board member Melissa Snowden, who is also being attacked by MGM NXT PAC, and I had a press conference at 10 a.m. to discuss the negative campaign being waged against us.
(Interesting that the PAC says they want to make sure no incumbents get elected. Yet, of the three incumbents running, Melissa is the only one being attacked–and is running against a hand-picked candidate.. And there is no incumbent in my race but they are attacking me and have hand-picked both a Democrat and a Republican for the open District Two seat.)
And sure enough, right there in front of God and everyone, in broad daylight, in walks Will Fuller, Fuller is helping my Republican opponent, Ted Lowry, and was the person who contacted Perry Hooper, Jr. to get him to file a “challenge” to kick me off the ballot.
I thought it was hilarious, something right out of an old Don Knott’s movie. You know what I mean, one where no one can get anything right. Amateur hour if you will, childish to say the least. And again a display on how desperate some folks are.
Oh. What did I say to the press? Here it is:
“Friday, I got an email from an MPS kindergarten teacher trying to get supplies for her classroom. She signed up on a site called DonorsChoose.org where teachers seek funding. She needs $555 to get a ScanNCut and supplies to help her students.
I donated $50.
Also Friday I got this mail at my home. It’s another effort by a political action committee that has now spent $77,269 to insult 29,000 students in MPS schools and their teachers, principals and administrators in an attempt to hand-pick the school board.
Here is the irony. For what they have spent to sling mud at candidates and the school system, this PAC could buy 139 ScanNCuts.
The 108 individuals and 11 business who have donated $72,105 to this PAC want us to believe they are trying to HELP our schools.
How in the world do you HELP anything by working so hard to tear them down and to farther divide an already too polarized community?
When I look at the contributors to this effort to tear down our schools, I do not see the face of Montgomery where almost 79 percent of our students are African-American.
One of the first things most of us learned was the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Apparently, those involved with this PAC have forgotten that.
When I qualified to run for an open seat on the MPS board, I had no idea that a campaign for school board would turn into a mud wrestling contest to hand-pick candidates.
I have a strong record of supporting public schools. I have researched why some high poverty schools perform well, I have been a consistent and constant voice supporting public schools and those who work in them, I have raised money for schools, been honored by the Council for Leaders of Alabama Schools for my support of public education and was recently recognized by the University of West Alabama for helping them start the Black Belt Teachers Corps.
This record has been distorted, twisted and maligned.
It is sickening.
But even more sickening is that friends like Ethel Barnes, principal at Flowers Elementary for 18 years and an educator for 40 years, are also under attack.
You don’t cover the community with mail shouting OUR SCHOOL BOARD AND OUR SCHOOL SYSTEM ARE BROKEN without pointing a finger at Ethel and implying that she is a failure.
Recently Zestlan Simmons, who teaches at BTW magnet high school was named Alabama Teacher of the Year. But according to those funding the MGM NXT PAC, Zestlan is a failure also. I wonder if any of the folks giving money to this effort have the nerve to go tell her that.
I will be glad to take them to her house. She lives in District Two.
Yes, MPS has issues. All school systems do.
But why not be part of the solution, not part of the problem?
Why not raise money to buy school supplies, begin mentoring programs, work with PTAs and dozens of other things, rather than interjecting politics into the classroom?
This is the most divisive thing I have ever witnessed in a local community.
And those who want us to believe they are doing it for our children should hang their heads in shame.”