On Wednesday, April 17, Dr. Timothy Chargois, superintendent of Beaumont ISD, called a press conference at his office to ask the local media to help the district promote “civility and humility” among factions of the community.
He quoted President Franklin D. Roosevelt saying, “In these days of difficulty, we Americans everywhere must and shall choose the path of social justice … the path of faith, the path of hope, and the path of love toward our fellow man.”
We at The Examiner will applaud Dr. Chargois’ words if the actions of the new superintendent and his board of trustees follow suit; however, like another famous quote says, “Words are cheap.” Or how about this one: “Performance is your reality; forget everything else.”
Dr. Chargois — long before the redistricting scheme and the litigation of late dominated the news — had a golden opportunity to position himself as an honest, credible, superintendent-elect with the unanimous approval of the Board of Trustees as replacement to Carrol Thomas and, quite frankly, blew it.
Members of the entire community overwhelmingly supported Chargois until the contract that was negotiated differed substantially from the contract he was actually given, including an automatic pay raise that was explained as “an oversight” by the BISD legal team.
Dr. Chargois, you could deny any responsibility and let Butch and the majority of the trustees who employ you take the blame for Calvin Walker’s multimillion dollar theft and his subsequent rehiring, for waste and pilferage of the bond funds, or even the distrust of the district by many — up until your appointment. You, however, must take complete responsibility for not standing up in an open board meeting and saying, “My contract was agreed to by all board members without an automatic pay raise, and I will not accept any more than we all agreed to.” That, sir, would have, as the politicians say, given you political capital you might be able to spend now that you’re asking for “civility and humility.”
Understand, sir, that many people feel this board majority and many in the BISD administration are dishonest, not working for the best interests of the children but for their own self-interest.
You, I believe, are being told that because you are black you will not have the support of the white community. Dr. Chargois, don’t believe it. Yes, some in the community are bigots and will not support you regardless, but that, sir, is not the majority. The board that some would say is split along racial lines selected you unanimously, but now, as we said before, “performance is your reality.”
This community needs — not just wants, but needs — a functional board of trustees and administrators; without it, our children will be incapable of meeting the challenges facing them in the future. Businesses will not grow or relocate here, real estate prices will go down and opportunity for our children will be diminished.
Dr. Chargois, we welcome your call for “civility and humility.” But you must look inward at yourself and the district you lead, as well as out at the community you represent.