We did not support Priya Tahiliani to be the superintendent of Everett’s Public Schools when she was seeking the position.
We always felt that a “local” candidate would be better than an “out of towner.”
In this respect, we believed the leadership of the public schools should be left to an insider, preferably an Everett resident.
This was before the racial component now hanging over the city’s right to govern itself revealed just how ugly racism becomes when a city that is largely Black, Brown and Hispanic is ruled exclusively by white people who make the effort to exclude people of race and color from joining the city hall and the Vine Street management teams.
Further, we believed two years ago that Everett was just fine except for the rough and tumble politics that pervades city hall under the leadership, or the lack of it, of Mayor Carlo DeMaria.
After Tahiliani became the superintendent, we got behind her.
We never bought in to the idea that she was not right for the position after she was appointed.
After all, who exactly is right for the superintendent’s position to begin with?
With everything underhanded and rooted in racism that has gone on to undermine and to be rid of Tahiliani since she arrived, we have come to understand that she is the right person, at the right time, in the right place with stellar qualifications to be the superintendent of schools.
Her work record has been exemplary.
As a person and human being, she shines among the haters, and she shines among those who approve of her.
More than this, as a highly educated and capable woman of color, she now heads a school system that has not in the past changed with the times.
Everett’s Public Schools are about 80% Black, Brown and Hispanic.
The leadership, other than Tahiliani and a few of the administrators she has hired, are nearly all white. There is no crime in this. Or is there? Is exclusion a crime?
Yes it is.
Is racism a crime?
Yes it is.
Is perpetuating an all-white Everett management team at city hall and in the schools proper and just, legal and righteous?
Is a ratio of 2% Blacks, Browns and Hispanics working for the city proper when the city’s popuklation is 65% Black, Brown and Hispanic?
No it is not.
This is one of the reasons why the US Attorney has launched a probe into racism, discrimination and retaliation practiced here by the leadership in government.
Back to Tahiliani – who has also filed a complaint of racism and sexism against the mayor.
The question is this: does Tahiliani deserve an extension to her contract?
We believe she does.
We also believe that School Committeemen Mike McLaughlin, Jason Marcus, Joe LaMonica, Millie Cardello and the mayor are woefully out of step with the times standing against Tahiliani.
What are they standing for standing against Tahiliani?
Beginning another costly and time consuming process to find a new superintendent when the present superintendent is qualified in every way and has proven it, is a sad reminder of how misguided government can be in this city at times.
We urge the school committee to extend Tahiliani’s contract.
The city needs to get on with the business of dropping the racism and the hatred and to embrace the new Everett that has come to be during the past 25 years.
Give Tahiliani and extension. It is the right thing to do.
The right thing must be done.