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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Rally for Dr. Porter--A Need for Atonement and Reconciliation

For Our Children's Sake

Last night at the Fairview Missionary Baptist Church there was a meeting and rally for Dr. John Q. Porter. About 600 people attended. Rev. Reed, the Fairview pastor, hosted the meeting. According to an article in The Oklahoman " 'We are all calling for his reinstatement. We are going to, as a community, work towards that end because his concern is children, not the politics,” the Rev. John Reed said" (The Oklahoman 1.9.08). I have much respect for Rev. Reed. He has been a big friend to labor and education.

I fear that if the Board fires Dr. Porter the harm caused in the community will last a long time. I think that we should work for reconciliation. Dr. Porter has shown that he is willing to acknowledge his mistakes. I think we should find the appropriate atonement for those mistake and, for our children's sake, move on.

Porter backers fight for his job

1 comment:

DW said...

Hey Green Flame, This whole event for me has been interesting. I am a mid 40's black female. Channel 4asked the question on "The Rant" is this a racial issue. I've heard numerous comments this week, and Rev. Reed asked that those of us who may be interviewed by the media to not call this a racial issue. I listened to Russell Perry, owner and Editor-in-Chief of the Black Chronicle, and an unapoligetic Black Repulican--side with Rev. Reed and many others in the black community. So, do I consider this a racial issue? I really do not think it is. I do however, think it is about power and control. Monday was my first ever school board meeting. My husband and I do not have children, but both are products of the Oklahoma City Public School system, although my husband graduated from McGuiness. We were in school before desegregation. Many of our teachers were also members of our church, some were neighbors, we saw them out shopping, and at other community events. Our parents were very involved in our education, so much so that my parents would come, unannounced to my school and have lunch with me and my teachers. Our parents allowed no excuses and it was assumed that we would both go to college. What I remember know as an adult during those times was lots of stability as it relates to going to school. I remember a very supportive environment. I remember teachers who were really involved, and principals who would contact my parents at the drop of a bat. Incidently, my mother was a beautician, with the shop attached to our home, she happended to do my principals hair and many of my teachers. So I had the fear of God for these women. I believe Dr. Porter to be the type of person who is trying to restore our school system to the way it used to be. Dr. Porter is an administrator not accounts payable. What I have trouble with as Dr. Mason said last night, it was if they were just waiting to pounce. I think the Board needs some changes in structure. The deck has been stacked, in that Cliff Hudson has the needed votes he wants. I think that Dr. Porter was not a yes man, and would not be intimidated. I think that when he asked for an audit, as the young people say, "It was on!" These allegations are not things in which to be fired over. When in essence the board approved all of these items. If you look at the day to day work that all of us perform, you can find something or a reason to fire all of us. As it does relate to race, I think what people are seeing is the "village" supporing of their own. I also attended the meeting last night at Fairview and plan to continue attending the meetings, as well as the hearing. There is talk of boycotting Sonic, and other strategies. I agree with you,I wish it would go away. But what this has done as far as race is concerned, it has brought the Black community together and unified. It will be a matter of time, to see what and how the board has operated financially. These allegations are just part of a set up, and that is to get Dr. Porter out and someone who can be controlled by Cliff Hudson. So....let's look at Cliff Hudson's financial dealings and see if those are illegal.