Originally created 11/30/97

Arauz: A cry for help



Did you see the powerful Nov. 27 guest column by former Richmond County teacher Donna Arauz? If you missed it, take time to read it. You may even contact the editorial department and we'll send you a copy.

The views of the self-confessed "burned out" second-year teacher are must reading Ä especially for Richmond County Superintendent Dr. Charles Larke and members of the all-too-often lethargic Board of Education.

The one-time T.W. Josey High School teacher says publicly what many teachers (and not just ones in "inner city" schools) tell us privately Ä thugs threaten teachers to get good grades, and intimidated teachers and principals let them get away with it.

Dr. Larke is a progressive superintendent who has a fine central office staff. But after the Christmas holidays, he must re-focus on a prime mission: Visit the schools and make it crystal clear to everyone that coercion for better grades won't be tolerated. The police will be called in, and the superintendent and Board will back the harassed teacher or principal.

Arauz wrote: "I was physically threatened by students and non-students because of my expectations and, more disturbingly, because of my race." (Why are some School Board trustees so obsessed about race when it involves bias regarding blacks, yet are strangely silent when race hate flares against non-blacks within the system?)

There are other Donna Arauzs in our schools. They are good teachers who are rapidly "burning out" because of the public school system's appalling lack of follow-through on a commitment to excellence. They desperately need help. Will superintendents and school boards be there for them?