The Big Lie

In this space last week, we expressed regret at the timidity of Beaumont Independent School District superintendent-in-waiting Dr. Timothy Chargois, who did not see fit to instruct his attorneys to remove an ill-gotten clause in his contract granting him an automatic pay raise despite the stated objections of virtually the entire BISD board. The board’s outside counsel Tanner Hunt allowed the clause to somehow slip into the contract. Assuming Hunt wouldn’t take such an action on his own, we have to wonder who could have ordered such a thing. Actually, there is only one likely suspect in this not-so-mysterious mystery, and the sooner Dr. Carrol “Butch” Thomas leaves the building for good, the better off BISD will be.

At that point, we hope Chargois will step up and overcome the failure to lead that has characterized his tentative tenure to date, perhaps understandable while the man who selected him for the job and doubled his salary is still sitting at the head of the table. But when Thomas finally leaves — with yet another bundle of cash bestowed on him by the very tame BISD board — it will be time for Chargois to step up.

A good place to start is the removal of those ridiculous signs proclaiming BISD is one of the Top 10 school districts in the country. No sane person believes this nonsense promulgated by Thomas’ hand-picked minister of propaganda, Jessie Haynes. They still think if they tell a big lie often enough, eventually people will believe it

It is especially cruel for students at Austin Middle School, where a giant banner proclaims the lie daily for motorists passing by on the interstate. In fact, Austin Middle School’s 2011 ranking was 1,720th out of 1,889 in Texas. BISD was 460th out of 953 districts in the state, but still the big lie of Thomas and Haynes persists, all attributed to some online “magazine” unknown to legitimate educators that delivered the ranking in exchange for access to BISD vendors who were pressured to buy advertising in a magazine you’ll never see on a table in your dentist’s waiting room because it only exists in the cyber realm – and in the propaganda machinations of the current BISD regime. Chargois must take a broom and sweep this trash out of the schools and declare a commitment to truth in advertising.

Another occasion of sin is the misinformation surrounding a retirement “Extravaganza” for Butch, which involves not a big lie but a series of smaller ones. They said it wasn’t going to cost taxpayers a dime, but that was never going to be true and they knew it. Something called the Beaumont Area Alliance for Black Student Educators is now in the driver’s seat, but any accounting of how much public money is being spent will not occur until far in the future – if ever.