Date: September 13, 2009 9:25:13 PM CDT
Subject: Chesterfield County Public Schools Fails To "Own" Core Values
Good Evening Advocates For Our Children,
After enduring a horrific first week of the academic year with a family with special needs, all at the hand of
Chesterfield County Public School's administrators and officials, I felt compelled, and yes, even obligated to
publish this commentary condemning those involved for not only their hypocrisy, but for their relentless efforts
to deprive students with special needs of the educational opportunities that they are entitled to. The victimization
of students and families has become a way of life within Chesterfield County, all with the approval of school officials.
For the record, based on the constant flow of horrific stories that I have received, this commentary will be one
of many more to come unless Dr. Newsome and the school board members take drastic and immediate actions to correct
this systemic and institutionalized abuse/neglect of students with special needs.
I would also like to thank all of the media outlets that have agreed to publish this and future pieces exposing the
atrocious injustice that is being committed to innocent children within Chesterfield County Public Schools.
Speaking Out For Those That Have No Voice,
Parent, Advocate, Consultant, Reformist
Chesterfield County Public Schools Fails To Own Its Core Values
Written By: Kandise Lucas, Ph.D. Columnist EducationNews.org
Categorized in: EducationNews Reports
Chesterfield County Public Schools Fails To “Own” Its Core Values
Kandise Lucas, Ph.D. - 9.14.09
“The Chesterfield County School Board adopted four, community-identified core values; respect, responsibility,
honesty, and accountability.” These are the words noted by Superintendent Marcus Newsome within the district’s
2008-2009 Annual Report. It is interesting to note that these core values are “community-identified,” not school
district-identified. This would explain the reason that district officials and administrators, from the boardroom
to the classroom, consistently fail to embrace and practice these values, especially when students with special
needs are involved.
Respect….Responsibility….Honesty….Accountability. It is clear that there are many families with students that have
special needs that would go as far as to state that his claims in the annual report are not only false, but that
they are not upheld with any integrity by either he, the school board members, or the administrators that serve
within the district
Respect. There is documented account after documented account of school board members, administrators, and even
Newsome, himself, disrespecting parents and students with special needs by either dismissing, ignoring, or covering up
the atrocities that students are their families have been and continue to be subjected to at the hands of incompetent
administrators, while an indifferent Newsome and school board members look on.
Responsibility. There is no question that irresponsibility reigns supreme and is readily rewarded within Chesterfield
County Public Schools when dealing with students with special needs. Failure to comply with educational plans,
endangering the physical and emotional welfare of students, and even avoiding being responsible for any and all
unethical acts toward students at all costs seems to be an accepted norm within the district culture of irresponsibility.
Honesty. This is definitely a foreign concept for many administrators within Chesterfield County Public Schools.
Faced with the choice of keeping their positions by falsifying and/or misrepresenting issues related to students
with disabilities, these individuals would choose to be dishonest and keep their jobs, rather than stand up for
children and risk loosing their paychecks and positions. Of course, this entire culture of dishonesty and lack of
integrity is promoted, maintained, and defended by Newsome and his team of Mafia-like administrators that receive
their orders to preserve a corrupt system at all costs, then take whatever steps necessary to do so, even if it means
causing harm to innocent children by depriving them of every educational opportunity that they are entitled to based
on their civil rights.
Accountability. How would one describe accountability within Chesterfield County Public Schools under the leadership
of Newsome and the present school board members? The same way that one would describe competence within one of its
high schools, Meadowbrook, under Principal Thomas Ferrell; Assistant Principal Shawn Abel; and Special Education
Department Chair, Deborah Jones; accountability for adults that consistently violate the civil rights of students
with disabilities, then falsify documentation and/or make false statements does not exist.
Accountability will never exist in Chesterfield County Public Schools until, as President Obama stated, “all human
beings are valued for who they are, and not devalued or dehumanized for who they are not as a means of furthering
the political and economic agendas of those in power that are charged with acting with integrity, compassion, and
Chesterfield School Board Members
It is interesting to note that Dr. Newsome is a middle-aged African-American male, who, we are certain, has had his
share of challenges as a result of his appearance, background, and what some would even label as a “disability,”
due to his race. His profile also notes that he has religious education training, which emphasizes the importance
of reaching those that cannot speak for them selves, and are often disenfranchised because they have no one to speak
for them. Evidently, both Superintendent Newsome and the Chesterfield County Public School Board members have forgotten
where they came from, and more importantly, have failed to remember where our children need to be.
A fundamental moral and ethical question that is facing district leaders, as the new year begins, is not whether
they will win another “blue ribbon award,” or make AYP again, or even whether seventy percent of the schools within
the district will pass the SOL’s. The fundamental question that must be answered, and that will impact the lives of
Chesterfield’s special education children for generations to come, is whether Superintendent Newsome and the school
board have the moral and ethical conviction to confront, expose, and dismantle the corruption that is rampant within
the district regarding students with special needs. If one child with special needs is deprived of an educational
opportunity due to the incompetence and corruption of school leaders, then the quality of education for all students
within the district is in danger and compromised.
If school officials are unwilling to answer this moral and ethical question with actions, then opt to continue down
their paths of indifference, avoidance, and ignorance with closed eyes and covered ears, then it is clear that they
are making a deliberate decision to destroy the lives and futures of the most vulnerable children within our communities.
It’s one thing to “adopt” core values, it’s another thing to “own” core values. When will Chesterfield’s school leaders
“own” the core values that will protect, defend, and nurture every student and family within the district? Perhaps if
they focused on “owning” each student and their future, then they would be able to “own” the core values that consistently
*Retrieved from: http://www.ednews.org/articles/chesterfield-county-public-schools-fails-to-own-its-core-values.html
"Speak out for the one who cannot speak, for the rights of those who are doomed." -Proverbs 31:8