On January 28, 2021, MIC’s Board of Directors wrote an open letter to the Cobb County Board of Education and the Cobb County School Superintendent calling on them to practice basic coronavirus safety measures, address the grief felt by the school community at the death of three teachers from the virus, and find a way to work together as a leadership team, rather than continue to engage in divisive, unproductive conflict. We look forward to a responsive and ongoing conversation with the school district leadership and we will keep you informed of our progress.
Here is the text of the letter:
January 28, 2021
Mr. Chris Ragsdale, Superintendent
Mr. Randy Scamihorn, Chairman
Mr. David Banks, Board Member
Mr. David Chastain, Board Member
Ms. Charisse Davis, Board, Member
Dr. Jaha Howard, Board Member
Mr. Leroy Tre’ Hutchins, Board Member
Mr. Brad Wheeler, Board Member
Dear Cobb County School Board of Education:
We are calling on you to show responsible leadership we can depend on during this Coronavirus pandemic crisis and beyond. You have been elected and selected by the residents of Cobb County to perform a vitally important job, which includes leading by example, and being an example of exemplary leadership. Our teachers, students, and the community at large, deserve to know you are working in their best interest and they are the number one priority.
Sadly, the Board’s behavior and actions have not been acceptable and not what we expect from our Superintendent and Board members. We do not see teamwork or deliberate, pragmatic thought given to solving our most basic concerns such as school safety, student educational achievement, compassion, and direction for those you have been given the responsibility of leading.
The January 21st board meeting crystalized your dysfunction to the community and to the world at large. Your failure to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, help us mourn the loss of three educators, and even wear masks, gave the appearance to all who watched, that there was a lack of appropriate caring or concern. This dysfunctionality must come to an end. Our expectation is that Board members and the Superintendent be viewed as models of good behavior by wearing masks and encouraging the widespread use of safety measures that will aid in the efforts to stop the spread of the deadly Coronavirus disease in our community.
We acknowledge that there may be occasions when members may not be in full agreement on issues that affect specific areas of the district. However, it is critical that all voices are heard, and all points of view taken into consideration as part of the Board’s decision-making process. The ability to provide input and raise concerns is the responsibility of each elected individual Board member and must be respected. Your recent actions to eliminate Board member comments and to require majority consent to even discuss an issue has resulted in shutting out the voice of three of the seven areas in the district. Majority rule is one thing; silencing the voices of the three South Cobb Board members is another.
We stand in support of all CCSD educators, our Board members, and everyone involved in the success of our school system. We are dedicated to keeping our community informed and to doing our part as a community organization.
Please take immediate measures to model good safety behavior, be respectful of each other, and provide a forum where all the issues that face our educational system can be openly discussed and resolved.
Then, we can all get back to working together to make Cobb County a great place to live and educate our children.
Board of Directors
Mableton Improvement Coalition