Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

September 15, 2009

Controversy leads to resignation request

Cason asked to step down by community members

VALDOSTA — The Rev. Floyd Rose called for Valdosta City School Superintendent Dr. Bill Cason’s resignation Monday night.

During the regular Board of Education meeting Rose, president of the Valdosta/Lowndes County Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, spoke to the board about the superintendent’s decision not to air President Barack Obama’s speech on education during school hours.

Rose and hundreds of others converged on the BOE office demanding answers for why the speech was not shown in a school system that is predominately black.

On the day the speech was scheduled to air, Rose and others met with Cason and discussed why the speech would not be shown. Cason, Rose said, had plenty of time between the meeting and the speech to call the schools and tell them to allow the children to watch the speech.

Rose said Cason’s reasons for not showing the speech were that it did not align with the Georgia Performance Standards that are the basis for school lesson plans and that the speech and the lesson plans provided would cut into instructional time.

“Let us be clear,” Rose said. “We read the President’s speech, and at no time did he propose lesson plans before, during, or after his speech, as claimed by Dr. Cason. He never mentioned lesson plans. Never.”

Rose went on to say that any offer to show the speech later is not acceptable, he said.

“Here is what I know, here is what you know, here is what the hundreds of people here and out in the street know,” Rose said. “If Dr. Cason were black and 80 percent of the school children in his district were white, and he arbitrarily decided not to allow white children to watch a white president’s ‘back to school’ speech,’ and whites came here tonight in the numbers that blacks have come to protest, he would resign, or be fired. And we are here to demand no less.”

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