The efforts by the administration and its mouthpieces on the School Committee to deny Superintendent of Schools Priya Tahiliani an extension of her contract reeks of racism and discrimination.
At a time when the city has just had to ante up $500,000 for legal fees regarding the US Attorney’s investigation into racism and discrimination in Everett for the past five years, it seems so out of the orbit of good government to be playing games with the superintendent’s contract extension.
A vote taken at Monday evening’s School Committee to allow a discussion about the possible extension does little to change the deal.
Does anyone in government, or at least the four members of the School Committee who voted against the Monday measure feel that maybe, just maybe, the US Attorney’s office is watching such shenanigans?
We don’t think so.
Yet it is impossible to properly convey the feeling that the administration’s anti-Tahiliani stance is part and parcel of the racist tendencies of this administration and of its followers on the School Committee.
Tahiliani’s term as superintendent so far has been untouched by scandal, incompetence, racism or discrimination.
She is a woman of color in a city that has paid little heed to its Black, Brown, Hispanic and Spanish speaking residents for longer than two decades.
Think about it – as we are certain about what the US Attorney is discovering as her lawyers plod through reams of information which uncovers blatant racism and discrimination here.
For many years until recently the city had no equity chief. This is a majority minority city and has been for years.
Yet there was no equity chief.
Employment records searched out for the past five years will prove that Blacks, Browns, Hispanics and Spanish speaking had no voice at city hall – and when they got one in Gerly Adrien, she was ridiculed and discriminated against by her colleagues on the city council in ugly public meetings where several of them asked her to resign.
She was asked to resign because she is Black.
The overcrowding problem in the public schools is another black mark on the administration.
Many believe the administration thinks it’s OK to have 1500 students with no place to sit in class rooms so thick with students that teaching is made impossible.
When a school is available to reduce that overcrowding by more than 1,000 and can be made available within a year or two, the administration again hesitates.
Keep in mind, the hesitation causes difficulties with the school population, which is 84 % Black, Brown and Hispanic.
If all these school children were white we wonder what the situation would be.
No wonder the city is being investigated by the US Attorney’s Office and the Justice Department for Title VII issues.
It appears very likely right now that Tahiliani cannot overcome the Administration’s stranglehold on members like Jason Marcus, Joseph LaMonica, Mike McLaughlin, and the mayor, all of whom should know better. They’re all nice people acting like ostriches with their heads in the sand.
If only they understood how transparently bad they look standing up for racism and discrimination.
Tahiliani deserves an extension based on her performance. Her race, color and gender should have nothing to do with the process.
But we believe it does.