BISD profiteering scheme targets seniors

Senior Packages

Central High School came into being in 1986 with the merger of the French and Charlton-Pollard high schools. According to the Beaumont Independent School District finance department, Central currently holds an enrollment of 1,698 students. Of those students, 85 percent receive free or reduced lunch.

“Our kids are the most economically disadvantaged in the district,” a Central High educator told The Examiner. An ongoing investigation has revealed that despite their economic status, Central students have been the target of numerous schemes on the part of school officials designed to separate them from whatever cash they might have. A case in point is the lavish “Senior Package” graduating students were forced to buy in order to participate in the traditional commencement-related activities.

After receiving numerous complaints from parents concerned at how much money their seniors were forced to pay in order to take part in graduation festivities, The Examiner found parents who said they wanted to come forward with concerns about how seniors were required to pay $325 or more for a “Senior Package,” although the total costs of the services provided in the package leaves tens of thousands of dollars in excess money for Central administration to do with as they please. Seniors who cannot afford a package are not allowed to take part in prom, the senior picnic, the senior banquet, or the parent appreciation ceremony.

“They either buy the package or that’s it. At our school, it’s all or none,” said one parent.

Last year, of the more than 300 Central graduates, only 200 Senior Packages were purchased. To keep seniors on a budget from pooling their resources, guests to any of the senior activities could not be any Central senior who didn’t purchase their own Senior Package.

One common denominator in this rip-off is a familiar name – former Central High principal Patricia Collins Adams Lambert, a convicted felon who pleaded guilty to three extortion charges in New Orleans and is at the center of a massive cheating scandal at Central now under investigation. All this notoriety hasn’t dimmed Collins Adams Lambert’s fortunes at BISD, however; she is now one of the highest ranking

and highest paid administrators in the district. “It’s just a sad, sad situation,” the parent said. “This one person (Lambert) has really spiraled our district down. Here they are supposed to be looking out for these kids who may not have a lot and they’re robbing them. This is nothing but extortion; these kids and their parents feel they have to attend these functions so they pay whatever they say.”

The Senior Package appears to this parent to be a case of the ex-principal giving herself a gift that keeps on giving. For their money, Central seniors forking over the $325 payable in cash or money order only were given access to the senior banquet at the Beaumont Country Club, two tickets to prom at the Beaumont Event Centre, a Rose Cutting ceremony at Central, a plastic yard sign, a picnic at the Thomas Center, and the promise of a 2012/13 yearbook. Just this week, the yearbooks for the graduating class of 2011/12 were delivered to Central because they were not ordered from the printer until April of this year. Payment for last year’s book was made in June 2013. From the 200 paid students, a budget of over $65,000 for the events was collected.

Paid receipts for services show total cost for the senior banquet, including covering meals for administration, teachers and other guests, at the Beaumont Country Club at $9,150. Setup, cleanup, tables and chairs, and security at the Beaumont Event Centre cost just $2,342, which was paid half in cash and half with a Central booster check. The cash payment would indicate not all cash collected for the packages was deposited in Central’s booster account. At retail price of $75, yearbooks totaled $15,000. Roses at a cost of $2 a piece total $400; use of the Thomas Center was free; and yard signs, at $5 each, total $1,000. Grand total, hard costs = $27,892. Which, according to the laws of arithmetic, leaves an excess of $37,108. As revealed in last week’s Examiner, assistant superintendent Lambert’s 41-year-old son, Brian Collins, was in receipt of a large portion of the Senior Package money for “printing” costs although he has no printing press and the campus already employs a graphic designer in Paula Malone, whose name is credited as the graphic design artist on Central’s material. The payment for Lamberts son’s business, “Designergy,” was paid out of the BISD central office and not out of the Central booster account. However, during the same period, Central’s bank records show a cheerleading coach at the campus was frugal enough to order items for her cheerleaders from a vendor, bestpromotions.com, that cost less than a third of what was paid to Lambert’s son and his company. Below is a comparison of materials bought from Collins to that of a quote provided by bestpromotions.com, the vendor used for printing cheerleader materials for just a month prior.

• Flute glasses – Collins invoice, $10.25; bestpromotions, $3.25

• Photo album – Collins invoice, $8.10; bestpromotions, $3.81

• Stadium cup with lid – Collins invoice, $9.15; bestpromotions, $0.83

Collins also billed $40 apiece for Rose Cutting programs. Kinko’s, where Lambert purchased printing for Central prior to her son starting his own business, quoted a price of $27 each for the same service. In total, Collins billed BISD and its students roughly$20,000 for Central senior “printing.” “I’m ashamed of how our students are being treated,” the Central parent said in disgust.

“What they have done is lined the wallets of their friends and family at the expense of our students and their families. It just isn’t right.”

The senior packages have long been a staple at Central even prior to Lambert’s reign, but a longtime educator from the school said before Lambert you could buy the prom separate and the yearbook was not part of the package. Representatives from Beaumont’s two other high schools, Ozen and West Brook, report that senior activities are available for purchase a la carte so that students on a budget can purchase the products they can afford without having to come up with an all or nothing dilemma.

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Comments

I believe this whole blog is

I believe this whole blog is filled with racist individuals who would not even be happy if Jesus was in Ms. Lambert's position especially if he was black. How can anyone here claim to care about black kids when you wouldn't even dare send any of your kids to Central or even teach there? Hypocrites!!! This whole issue is about race . This town is still in the Jim Crow ages. I'm glad the rest of the world doesn't think like all of you. This is why we have a black president who was elected not once but twice. You need to fall on your knees tonight and ask God to pull all of that racism out of your heart and stop trying to use what happen at Central to exploit others blacks to join your racist bandwagon. Yes, I'm not happy about some of the things that went on at Central but I'm sure if we flash a light on Westbrook we will also find corruptions, For example why do Westbrook placed most of their minority students in special education where many will not even get a diploma. I don't see the examiner or even Mr. Neil examining that if he so call cares about black students. SHAME SHAME!!! All of you are hypocrites

I'm black and I won't send my

I'm black and I won't send my kids to Central. Do you realize how ashamed people are of Central? People are actually trying to leave there. Our children are being disserviced. Some people think that helping students to cheat is no big deal. It is to me. I don't want my child sent out into the world with false pretenses thinking they are smarter than they really are. I want them to EARN what they get, not have someone cheat for them. This issue is not about race, it's about doing the right thing and obviously so many people at Central and BISD do not know what that even means. Cheating for students is really cheating them of their future. It needs to stop! But it won't until others speak up instead of allowing one teacher to become a sacrificial lamb.

Keep Quiet

Well did you attend Central during this time? I sure did and it was a load of bull on how they manage any kind of money there. I mean you don't have enough money to give to the different activities but apparently you have enough to put a bunch of brand new plasma screen TV's through the hallway. Also this has nothing to do with race that's your stupid Idealism at work! If you don't really know the situation at hand or you don't see it with your own eyes I advise you keep quiet. Thank you and have a good day! Sincerely a graduate from Central

Idiot.

You are an idiot if you believe that this is about racism. I attended that school for 3 years, so I know exactly what it was like. I had to pay full price for lunch, unlike the majority of students who went. I didn't have the money to pay for lunch, they knew this and did nothing about it. On top of that, there was no way in hell I was going to have my mom pay $325 for me to go to prom, Senior banquet, or any of that stuff. All it is, is one big scam. They definately had enough for the football team and absolute crap for the tennis team or swim team. Not to mention they were giving the students answers to the test so they could continue to be a "recognized" school. Bunch of lazy pigs for the most part. There were a hand full of good teachers who put in the work to advance the students but of course they were and still are barely given any appreciation for their work. Skin color has nothing to do with it. You can be a despicable person no matter what your ethnicity may be. I saw this crap all through high school, so unless you were smack dab in the middle of it, keep your mouth shut.

Disadvantaged in what manner ?

Hearing the description that students are 'economically disadvantaged' sounds as though students are really being classified as being inferior . . . classified as being 'mentally challenged'. OTHERWISE, it appears as though the culture of classifying others as being 'disadvantaged' has created a false manner to excuse the giving and taking of power, privileges or money. . . . at the unreasonable and needless expense of someone else.

QUESTION IS: Should students be unfairly and unreasonably be classified as being 'disadvantaged' in a manner to embrace the belief or concept that they are 'mentally crippled' or inferior. . . or should the 'disadvantaged' be able to compete individually with the equal capability to determine their own fate?

Exploitation at it's Worst

As others have mentioned, to cheat the most vulnerable population (children) who have no defense is just WRONG! Lambert operates by making those under her leadership feel as though they have no recourse. She constantly belittles her staff, students and their parents as though she has the final word on everything. The fact that these students had to pay $325 for a package that they had no decision making power on is sad. To threaten students with this "all or nothing" consequence resulted in many students getting part-time jobs to afford the package. Other's relied on their parents to sacrifice their bills so that their children would be included in the festivities. Thousands of dollars of that money went unaccounted for. If an external audit is done, it would prove that these kids and their families, may have purchased cars, clothes, trips, electronic devices ......that none of them benefited from. Instead some official at Central High may be living large of the sweat of these kids and their families.

The sad part is that this has been going on and NO ONE though it wrong. The fact that several staff at Central could go along with this scheme is sickening. As long as they are getting their "cut", they do not care. Well, let's hope they care when and if these allegations are turned over to the district attorney or attorney general for criminal prosecution.

As long as BISD is allowed to audit itself, they will continue to cover this mess up.

Sidebar: This is not White against Black...this is Right against Wrong! Money and education does not have a color. People should understand that when entities are allowed to operate this way, it produces a society that will suffer as a result of the division.

Stop being apathetic and read and discern for yourselves! Stop allowing rhetoric to blind you as to what is really going on.

This is what we' re working with...

Principal Accused of Extortion
A former New Orleans elementary school "principal of the year" has been arrested after being accused of demanding payments from faculty members.
Patricia Adams Collins, 46, the associate director of early-childhood education and staff development for the 75,000-student Orleans Parish school district, was charged last month with extortion. She allegedly demanded a $500 payment from three reading facilitators during the 1998-99 school year from the extra pay they received for the program, said Zully Jimenez, a spokeswoman for the New Orleans district attorney's office.
Ms. Collins allegedly threatened to transfer her subordinates if they did not pay up. If found guilty, she could spend up to five years in prison and pay a fine of as much as $5,000.
The reading facilitators were accused of aiding in the extortion. Such a crime carries a maximum penalty of 2 1/2 years in prison and a $2,500 fine.
All three have been placed on administrative leave, said Linedda McIver, a district spokeswoman. The district is cooperating with the investigation, she added.
Ms. Collins' lawyer could not be reached for comment.
--JULIE BLAI

Who do you think is being hurt here?

I have a few questions for those of you that support Patricia Lambert. I want to give you a chance to tell us what Patricia Lambert done to earn our respect. Please be specific. How is she improving education in Beaumont. How, exactly, is the education of our children better because of her?

BISD Criminals like Butch Johnson and Pat Lambert

These criminals were hired to steal from the poor by an uninformed and largely unintelligent populace. This happens all the time when morons make bad choices based solely on skin color. The entire American population is getting scandal after scandal, increased costs for everything including healthcare under Obamacare, all while our dear leader takes $100 million week long vacations and throws lavish parties in the WhiteHouse for celebrity millionaires like Beyonce and Jay-Z. Black on Black crime like this will continue until we clean up our own house and start hiring public employees that think like good citizens instead of hiring a common criminal because he has skin like mine.

What a racist comment to

What a racist comment to claim that someone is a moron and not intelligent for hiring or electing a black leader. If they are morons they learn it from people racist people like you. At least Obama was not like Clinton who had oral sex in the white house or like Bush who sent many innocent military people to their death for nothing. I pray that people like you never get in office because we would be back to the Jim Crow and pre civil war times where blacks were subordinate to racist people like you.

Couldn't agree more.

I couldn't agree with you more! For years blacks have whined and complained about being held down and oppressed, but look, now we are doing it to our own people! You are so right, this is black on black crime. The crime is being committed against our children. The sad thing is that many in our community don't seem to be too concerned about it. Some almost seem to have no problem with the fact that this happening to "economically disadvantaged" students.

Re: Kimmie

Kimmie,
I agree with you 100%. Good schools benefit the community as a whole in many ways. Beaumont has the potential for great economic growth, but an educated workforce is essential to draw development and new jobs to our area. Good schools are run by good administrators and school board trustees. I could care less if they are black or white, asian or hispanic. As long as they are dedicated to our kids and let our teachers do what they do best - teach.

Commenter identity

It is obvious that more than one person is using the nom de plume, "Anonymous". Would the moderator please require that real names be used in order to comment? Thank you.

Leave Ms. Lambert ALONE!!!!

YA'LL JUST RACIST TRYNA KEEP A GOOD WOMEN DOWN YOU NEED JESUS SHE CAN DO WHAEVER SHE WANT TO SHE EARNED HER TIME STOP HATIN YOU JUST MAD YOU AINT GETN NONE SHE A QUEEN BOW DOWN.

You should be ashamed of

You should be ashamed of standing up for Lambert! My guess is that you do not pay taxes, nor were you taken advantage of monetarily during the most expensive time in your child's school years. You should also be ashamed of your complete ineptness in writing a comment!
I had to laugh at the demand to bow down to this so called queen. WOW

Shame, Shame...how dare you

Shame, Shame...how dare you call people racisit when they are the ones standing up for these kids and thier familes. They are not exploiting them, or speaking badly about anyones race or religion or anything else. They are simply standing up for the kids and thier families who have been taken advantage of by people whom they should be able to trust. Most would find that to be an endearing quality. I'm so tired of every issue being chalked up to RACE...The only color that this case or the Calvin Walker case has ever been about has been GREEN!

Really?

Racist???? Give me a break.
Either you are in "on the take", or you are blind, which is it?
When kid's and their parents are being ripped off, it is more than just a crime, it is going against a solid oath educators take to help children.

And, related to Jesus: If Ms. Lambert gets out of this without at least the loss of her job, then SHE is the one who should hope that Jesus doesn't give her the punishment she has earned.

Let's go over a few things.

Let's go over a few things.

1. Turn off cap lock
2. Learn to spell.
3. Try a little punctuation.

Now, get a clue about what you are commenting on. How are people who are speaking out for black students, about a black person, actually considered racist?

Now, take your race card, cut it into little pieces and throw it away. It is not effective anymore.

Thank you. You are dismissed.

She did earn her time in

She did earn her time in prison.

In total agreement with the

In total agreement with the line "she earned her time". As for the rest of the post, talk about Exhibit A of a student who slept through some classes.

Is anyone really surprised?

Patricia Lambert was hired by BISD within a year of being convicted of felonies committed while working with the New Orleans School District. Since allegations of various crimes she has committed have surfaced, she continues to work.

At their last meeting, the school board voted 4-3 to renew Calvin Walker's contract as electrician for BISD. THE Calvin Walker who was criminally charged, and pled guilty after admitting to stealing millions of dollars from BISD. He was ordered by the court to repay BISD over 2 million dollars of the millions he stole. You may think that least we got some money back. Wrong. The board voted not to accept the money.

So what do people expect?

Our district hires and promotes convicted felons and entrusts them to educate our kids and run our schools. Why would it come as a surprise that these people continue to commit criminal acts against the hard working residents of Beaumont.

I highly recommend all parents of BISD students, especially Central parents, to attend monthly meetings of the school board. Sign up to speak. Let your voice be heard. Money is being wasted at a mind boggling rate. Education spending is being cut and inadequate academic performance of our kids is being covered up by systemic cheating on state mandated testing. What do you expect?

The TEA has launched a major investigation into numerous activities of BISD, not just central. Call your schools principal, call Dr. Chargois our superintendent. Demand an explanation of whats going on. It's your tax money that pays these people.

To gouge and steal from

To gouge and steal from students and their families is just so very wrong. To do it to poor students is unconscionable. To do it for profit is criminal. I sincerely hope the parents and students will rise up and make a stand against this thievery. When the TEA arrives, tell them in huge numbers what has been done. These crooks need to stopped!

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