Every day throughout the community, the question put to me is always the same: Are they ever going to indict this group at BISD?
Many believe nothing is happening beyond the Calvin Walker indictment and are asking why there isn’t a full-scale federal investigation of Beaumont Independent School District.
People want to know who can they write, call or go see. They are asking if we should form a contingent of concerned community members to go to Houston, Austin or even Washington, D.C.
What they’re asking is why district officials continue to defend Walker. They wonder if the very people who are trying to make the story about race are somehow complicit and are backing him to show support in hopes he won’t implicate any others involved.
They wonder why secretly settling lawsuits without board approval using taxpayer money are not being investigated. Some say the recent news about the settlements is the straw that broke the camel’s back. They are mad as hell and believe it is a betrayal to all taxpayers and the trustees they elected.
They wonder why, when Dr. Thomas’s assistant Jessie Haynes is a director for one of Walker’s companies — even after she claimed to not know anything about it — she is apparently not being investigated. Nobody really believes she did not know — and if she didn’t do anything wrong, why did she lie?
Whether it is a BISD transportation director being arrested for a DUI in a district truck and the BISD Police Department attempting to cover it up; the district’s failed attempt to build an event center and hotel just blocks away from Ford Park, an already taxpayer subsidized, state of the art event center and only a few miles from hundreds of unoccupied hotel rooms — the district claims questioning anything they do is somehow racial.
Is it racial bias to report when a duly elected member of the board of trustees is not provided with construction contracts and documents he requests and are available to the rest of the board — especially when that board member, Tom Neild, is the only elected member with any construction background and experience?
The indictment of Calvin Walker was news no matter where you live — 37 counts and the allegation of fraud involving $3.7 million of taxpayer money will always get front-page coverage. Yes, this story was about color. Not the color of a person’s skin but green — the color of moneyThis list goes on and on and the racial rhetoric that is being spewed by a few self-appointed leaders in the black community should not speak for the majority who simply believe right is right and wrong is wrong without regard to the color of anyone’s skin.
This rhetoric must stop and the only way for it to be resolved is a full-scale investigation into the many dealings of BISD.
Our Justice Department, the FBI and Texas Education Agency — as with all government agencies — are restricted by cutbacks in personnel and resources, but the community is asking what is being done and what can we do to help move this forward.
Regardless whether the self appointed leaders in the black community truly believe their charges of racial injustice or if it is simply a way to change the conversation, these allegations must be investigated. The only way to get complete closure and begin to heal the wounds caused by this policy of deception and secrecy is to get to the truth, which can only be uncovered with a proper and thorough investigation, fully funded to follow the trail of evidence wherever it may lead.
— Don J. Dodd