The idea of bunting, tulle, satin and organza being used in an educational setting at Central High School is not outside the spectrum of reality, but claims that these items and more were used to help boys become men is a little far-fetched.
But that is exactly what Beaumont Independent School District Superintendent Carrol Thomas told board members and the citizens of Beaumont last week at the Board of Trustees monthly meeting. Has he reached a point where now instead of trying to do an end run around the truth that he would just blatantly lie to the public and the board of trustees?
Thomas is no stranger to dishonesty. Remember he is the person who had three homestead exemptions, used the school to cater his private Christmas party and has been dragged before, at least, two grand juries.
However, in this case he made one of two choices, he either recited the information given to him by someone else or he just didn’t care about the truth and said the first thing that came to his mind. If the latter is not the case then perhaps someone is trying to sabotage him on his way out. Did Jessie Haynes, Thomas’ special assistant for communications, or Robert Zingelmann, his chief financial officer, give him bad information?
Surely, Jessie Haynes, APR, with her credentials and experience as a communications expert, knows better than to send the boss into the lion’s den armed with a paper sword of misinformation.
And Zingelmann has a master’s degree, as pointed out by U.S. Judge Ron Clark during testimony that raised the judge’s ire in the Calvin Walker trial.
Don’t misunderstand. Thomas is not blameless. In fact, all of the blame lies with him because he is the head of the school district. He has ruled over BISD as if it were his own private fiefdom for more than a decade and a half. When challenged, he fired back or cried foul even when he didn’t have the facts on his side – much like the situation with the boys-to-men seminar at Central. While the program is worthwhile and probably needed for all young men in BISD and around the state, there is no way that $8,000 worth of dainty satin and tulle was used to show anyone how to become a man.
Somehow Thomas didn’t get the right answers to relay to the board or he just didn’t care. He knew he was going to be interrogated about the matter after invoices from public information requests got leaked to the media. At least two BISD trustees said they wanted to know why the district was spending so much money on party supplies.One would think, however, that someone smart enough to sit at the helm of the National Association of Black School Educators would be able to get a straight answer from his minions. And if he is not smart enough to demand the truth and he is determined to let himself be made to look like a fool, then perhaps he should resign now and save the taxpayers the nearly $400,000 salary he intends to draw over the next year.