By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD
Jerry Bell is the second superintendent to receive MACE’s accolade as a “Superintendent Clown.” Crawford Lewis was given this moniker back in 2009. In fact, MACE had purchased a nice clown outfit for one of our cheerful picketers to wear at the next picket on North Decatur Road in Decatur (the location of the old Central Office – now they have moved to a Taj Mahal on Mountain Industrial Boulevard in Tucker), but on the day of the appointed Clown Picket, MACE had an emergency picket in Atlanta at Douglass High School. (The issue there was the new principal was apparently demanding that the Douglass High School teachers had to work on Saturday…uncompensated. The MACE “Remember the Sabbath” picket seemed to put a screeching halt to this. Ha!) So, MACE did not get to perform the “Clown Picket” on that particular day, the same day that the GBI showed up unannounced with media in tow, raiding Superintendent Crawford Lewis’s office.
You know the rest of the story. Crawford Lewis and his top assistant were indicted on Federal charges. They still await trial. Crawford Lewis, along with Atlanta’s Beverly Hall, and SACS’s Mark Elgart, were named by me in 2009 as “the three biggest educational hypocrites in Georgia.” So far, since I named these three “the biggest educational hypocrites in Georgia,” two have disgracefully left or been removed from their high and lofty perches, with much shame attached to their names. The other, Mark Elgart, has been pilloried in the media of late. But, it was only after Norreese Haynes and I of MACE started to expose the phony operation of the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges (SACS). In my opinion, SACS stands for Still Advocating for Cronies and Shills. Ha!
Now, now, now. We turn out attention back to Jerry Bell. A few weeks back, we posed some questions for Jerry Bell, but we haven’t heard from ole “Jerr.” For whom does the metaphorical Bell toll? It tolls for Jerry Bell. Have we had the forensic audit? Is it true that the board called for an audit? We are just asking the question. We have good reason to believe that it did call for one. Could you, Jerry Bell, fill us in on whether the Hart County Board of Education called for an audit and whether you have acceded to its wishes?
Now we understand that one of Hart County’s very effective and popular teachers was summarily recommended for non-renewal by the brand new principal at the Hart County High School, Robert W. Brown. Did your administration actually have the nerve to announce a replacement for this teacher before any due process hearing has taken place? Goodness. What hubris…and ignorance! And, it appears to me to be a bit of “amigo-tism” swirling around a prematurely announced replacement for this excellent teacher. Hmm. Didn’t this same newspaper go into some detail about this teacher’s replacement being a good friend of the principal…or you? Hmm. Amigo-tism…it’s a lot like nepotism. You are familiar with nepotism, right? Perhaps if the only elementary teacher in the small school system was recommended for non-renewal but one of your principal’s wives would be hired to replace this non-renewed teacher (although the deck would be re-shuffled a bit), then this might be what we call nepotism.
Let’s see now. We’ve taken on a few of the big-time superintendents in Georgia…speaking at school board meetings, writing letters and articles about them, filing complaints on them, and, of course, picketing all of them. We’ve had fun during the years…and we have watched these guys come and go. Fulton’s James (Jim) Fox, Stephen Dolinger, and James (Jamie) Wilson; Atlanta’s J. Jerome Harris, Benjamin Canada, and Beverly Hall; Clayton’s Joe A. Hairston, Dan Colwell, and Barbara Pulliam; DeKalb’s Johnny Brown and Crawford Lewis; Bibb’s Sharon Patterson; and Muscogee’s John Phillips, just to name a few. Now we will focus some of our energy and attention on Jerry Bell, the recipient of the Superintendent Clown Award. Congratulations, Jerry!
By the way, Jerr, why don’t you inform Robert W. Brown, that new principal at Hart County High School, to be just as micromanaging about the field conditions at the high school graduation ceremonies as he apparently is about a pep rally agenda, OK? I mean…if you want to be anal retentive in your management style (which is really a ridiculous and ineffective style of management), then by all means do not let the hallowed graduation ceremonies to be rudely and crudely interrupted by the sudden eruption of the sprinklers on the field. Ha! What a fiasco. © JRAT, May31, 2012.