By Frank Schier
Editor and Publisher
Noel Hammatt, a former college teacher, and East Baton Rouge school board member during the Hurricane Katrina aftermath, was the main speaker at the Watchdog for Ethics in Education’s (WEE) “Rally to Save our Public Schools” Feb. 21. Held at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Rockford, the rally was attended by an overflow crowd of 600 people, some of whom had to listen to the program on the intercom in an adjacent community room.
His major message was to avoid the community being divided and conquered by those who wish to pit some parents against other parents and against teachers in general. Hammatt challenged the vastly white crowd to bring five people each to Tuesday’s school board meeting to demand a delay in the rush to close schools and chop the budget based on unverified financial assertions. He stressed only a sincere and constant outreach to all members of the community will bring a transparent solution of diversity for all the children of the school district.
He prompted the crowd to repeat, “If it is to be, it is up to me,” five times, once for each person they would bring to the Tuesday night school board meeting—the goal being to bring thousands to the meeting.
School Board members Jude Makulec (Sub District-D), Alice Saudargas, (Sub District-C) and Public Schools Chief Communications Officer Mark Bonne also answered questions.
From the Feb. 23-March 1, 2011, issue