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Keep our talented, courageous teachers at SWD High

7/11/2014, 6:49 a.m.

Dear Mr. Michael Thurmond,

Someone once said, “If you get people arguing over the wrong question, the answer becomes irrelevant.”

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Byron Merritt

At Southwest DeKalb High School, we are mired in the minutiae of mediocrity and mendacity.

Were our core teachers reassigned due to declining enrollment or as a result of retaliation?

This is a false question if ever there was one.

We’re tussling over a question whose answer is already irrelevant.

The question we ought to be asking ourselves is “What kind of educational outcomes do we need in our children if African-Americans are to survive the 21st century.”

Residents on the north end of the county are sponsoring cityhood initiatives and are poised to devour the lion’s share of the county’s educational budget, which will leave the schools on the south end of the county under-resourced.

If our continued forward progress depends upon graduates who can think critically, who can assert themselves, who are self-determining with a strong sense of their own cultural identity and history, then we need a Carla Jordan, a Monica Hardesty, a Lucy Wright, a Bernice Foreman and a Marsha Murray-Bunsei in our school.

The removal of these progressive teachers is part of the continuing dumbing down of American education.

Mr. Thurmond with your prodigious talents engage us around issues of what our community will have to look like and be capable of doing over the next 5-10 years through the educational system post-Barack Obama.

Keep our talented and courageous teachers in Southwest DeKalb High School.

Byron L. Merritt, president of Southwest DeKalb High PTSA.