BISD credibility gap

As we mark the second week since the Beaumont Independent School District got caught letting a bigoted principal shut down an adult cosmetology class rather than admit a gay student, some things never seem to change. Once again a district functionary commits a clearly wrong act, triggering the typical BISD response – first deny, then lie.

The usual suspects circled the wagons to protect the district against the truth and their own actions. Minister of Propaganda Jessie Haynes is now serving a new master, but Superintendent Dr. Timothy Chargois seems unwilling to shed his predecessor’s affinity for playing fast and loose with the facts, so the misinformation continues. Outside counsel Tanner Hunt and Melody Chappell are always happy to play along, generating more billable hours for their law firm Wells, Peyton, Greenberg & Hunt, L.L.P., which benefitted handsomely during the Carrol Thomas reign of error. That multi-million dollar gravy train shows no signs of slowing down.

The new guy on this sorry team is Ron Reynolds, a former television reporter for KFDM Channel 6 News, who recently hired on as a communication specialist working under the regrettable Haynes. Reynolds’ first trial by fire in a BISD uniform found the ex-journalist tripping over his own press releases containing a series of dubious “facts” that were quickly revised as they proved inoperative.The Examiner’s reporting on this story by Jennifer Johnson has been rock solid with the actions of the BISD principal provoking outrage locally and around the country as her coverage was picked up by national news outlets. The lame BISD denials from the hapless Reynolds were dutifully reported but hardly believed given the district’s reputation for dissembling in the past.

Perhaps it is too much to expect Reynolds to assert his independence from the cabal that hired him so early in his employment there, and we understand there is a big difference between being a journalist and a functioning cog in a PR machine, but truth and credibility must be an integral part of either occupation.

Reynolds is not finding the spin game so easy these days because BISD has a pronounced credibility gap – actually a chasm between inconvenient truths and whatever Haynes would have us believe. She continues to peddle demonstrable lies on a daily basis, none more outrageous than the ongoing claim that BISD is one of the Top 10 school districts in the country despite the fact 19 of their 23 schools fail to meet minimal state standards.

The usual refrain from Haynes and company is to cry foul whenever their dubious statements are disproved.  Why not just tell the truth in the first place? Citizens will have a chance to ask that question to BISD during their Thursday night board meeting. Join us there.