Educational outrage

Dozens of angry people flooded from City Council chambers to vent disgust after Councilwoman Sharon McPhail continued a routine of banging her head against a brick wall, figuratively speaking. McPhail, in a position of power after losing a series of Detroit political races, is trying in vain to take the reins at council. Last week, she proposed that council hire a constitutional lawyer to study “all possible legal challenges available” to the 1999 state takeover of Detroit Public Schools. The action by Gov. John Engler unseated Detroit’s elected school-board members, and still smarts like an open wound. “It’s a statement from this council … that we’re not just going to let it go,” says McPhail, an attorney representing a group challenging the takeover in court. But her compatriots want more time before voting, and Councilwoman Kay Everett pointed out that with a $95 million deficit looming, the city has bigger worries. The postponed vote set the audience into a flurry as debates sparked in the hallway. “I think that is the most stupid group of African-Americans anywhere,” said Larry Nelson, who has 15 grandkids in Detroit Public Schools. “I think it was very disrespectful of the council today,” said Bettie Cook-Scott. “In the past, black folks were deprived of voting all the time. This time, we voted for a school board and then they changed the rules. I need to be able to tell my son that when he votes, his vote counts.”

Lisa M. Collins is a staff writer for Metro Times. E-mail comments to [email protected]
Scroll to read more Metro Detroit News articles
Join the Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Detroit Metro Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.