Lose the poison
Another powerful article about the NAACP's unconscionable behavior by the founder of one of the charter schools impacted by the lawsuit:
Let's make this clear: There is no grand, Orwellian plot to publicly denounce the NAACP. And any analogy between the charter-school community and slavery trivializes one of the most wretched periods in American history and blatantly disregards the struggle of the very families that the NAACP should represent.
What we really face here is a conflict that pits the interests of certain adults directly against the interests of families in need of better choices.
Notice that the lawsuit and the publicity surrounding it from the anti-charter camp have so far focused almost exclusively on nonacademic matters -- cafeteria use, gymnasium sharing, auditorium access, etc. These issues may seem important, but what is most important in any school is the work that we do inside classrooms.
To that end, I've made it clear to the leaders of the other schools that share the IS218 building in East New York that Invictus Prep is happy to be flexible about these spaces. If the cafeteria is truly overcrowded, our students can eat in their homerooms. If the other schools require the auditorium for their daily academic needs, we're more than willing to use the auditorium less.
All we ask is a set of rooms where our highly intelligent and dedicated staff can teach our inaugural fifth-grade class what they need to know as they march proudly towards college success.
Since academics don't appear to be the priority, we're left to wonder at the true motivation behind this lawsuit…
…Last, and perhaps most important, both the NAACP and the UFT must know this: You are hurting students. You are hurting families. You are intentionally placing obstacles before children whose lives are often already filled to bursting with hardship.
And you have no logical arguments left that can show otherwise.
As leader of a charter school that supports 100 families, as a black man from a humble background who owes his success to educational opportunity, and as a reasonable adult who wishes to talk about real concerns instead of sensationalist hyperbole, I request that you drop this lawsuit, for the sake of our students.
By CLIFFORD THOMAS
Last Updated: 3:40 AM, July 1, 2011