Box 3, Folder 17, Document 57

Dublin Core


Box 3, Folder 17, Document 57

Text Item Type Metadata


| School


People Battle

City Planner


A meeting on a report critical
of the Atlanta Board of Educa
tion this week unexepectedly
‘turned into an impromptu sym-
posium on community control
versus professional planning.

The meeting was called by
the education subcommittee of
the Citizens Central Advisory
Council, a body that pools com-
munity representatives who help
make policy at anti-poverty
neighhorhood centers>- —~

The subcommittee had issued
a list of recommendations to the
school board on various aspects
of the school system, and sev-
eral members of supt. John!
Letson’s staff were on hand
Monday night to reply.


The staff members heard a
three-hour series of complaints
from the subcommittee on the
alleged difficulty of communicat-
ing with the board or involving
neighborhood residents in the
planning process.

Finally, faced with a question
about expanding Price High
School, assistant superintendent
for buildings Dr. Darwin Wo-
mack said flatly:

“I’m telling you as a planner:
it ought to be bigger. It’s the
best thing. I’m a planner and
I’m supposed to know.”

Womack immediately faced
an uproar in the room at the
West Hunter Baptist Church
where the meeting was being
held. :

The Rev. Mance Jackson,
director of an Interdenomina-
tional Theological Center proj-
ect in the Lightning district,
stood and said, ‘He (Womack)
is not responsive to the will of
a community of people.”

Womack, said Jackson, has
no children in the affected
school. “That man,” he added,
“has no business serving this
kind of community.”


Womack and Jackson — who
Suggested sit-ins to tie up con-
Struction sites’ of unwanted
schools — clashed once earlier
on local control.

“That’s the trouble with
participation,” Womack said. f
“People think they. have veto
power.” Even if a school is
built against the wishes of some
of the residents, he added, that
does not prove the school board
did _not listen to community

“A community has the right
to have veto power,” replied
Jackson. If the community is
against a school, it should not
be built, he added.

The school system also came
under attack for being inacces-
sible to citizen complaints.
“The bureaucratic red tape not
only frustrates us but dumb-
founds us,” said Jackson.

“If we want to raise Cain
about the lunchroom, who do we
see?” asked one woman. “If we
want to raise Cain about how
the money is spent, who do we
talk to?”


Mrs. Maggie Moody; chair-
man of the subcommittee, com-
plained that the school board’s
public meeting only presented
citizens with occomplished facts,
and that she had been unable
either to address the board or
to attract members to subcom-
mittee meetings.

The meeting covered only five
of the subcommittee’s 13 recom-
mendations, and ended when

Mrs. Moody, said the list would
have to be forwarded directly to;
the school board for a reply.



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