Sunday, January 4, 2009

Gentleman's Agreement - Does your administration have one?

The local school board met to elect the President and Vice President of the board on Saturday 1/3/2009. The local newpaper article is titled, "Barnes elected President" and subtitled "Members protest role of race in vote".

The Augusta Chronicle article, written by Mr. Greg Gelpi, states, "Since the early 1990s, the board has alternated between electing a black president and a white president. The "gentleman's agreement" also dictates the board select a vice president of a different race than the president.
Joe Scott proposed ending the agreement Saturday".

Does your school board, local administration, or any other group have a "gentleman's agreement" that the people are not aware of? What message does this send to our students?

Gentleman's agreement issues came up in July 2005 when the Mayor of Augusta resigned to take a position with the Housing and Urban Development.

So how many of you are aware that your local school boards, city and/or county commissions have "gentleman's agreements"?

If other people are aware, does it prevent them from moving to Augusta, GA unless you are a part of the "gentleman's agreement? Do these agreements factor into the community apathy?

Not growing up here and not being aware of the "Who's Who" except during Masters Week , I can see why Augusta, GA continues to have issues, has a nickname like "Disgusta", and a school system that continues to teach with Passive Acceptance as a guideline.

Some of the above questions are rhetorical, but I cannot put into words how this issue irritates me on many levels. I was raised to believe that we are all part of the human race. If we are cut open, we all bleed red. As a female veteran, as a successful single parent of a multiracial child, and as a nontraditional student I have battled "good old boy" systems and a variety of biases and stereotypes.

So now what?
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