Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor has responded to comments by Superintendent of Schools Rocky Hanna, which labeled Proctor a bully and an embarrassment to the community.
Hanna’s comment came after Proctor weighed in on a gun safety bill which he said could result in black students becoming targets for “trigger-happy” armed teachers.
Proctor, in an 650 word opinion piece, defended his comments about armed teachers by citing national reports. “Consistent with my interpretation of the negative impacts of arming teachers have been other voices. These include Time Magazine and CNN,” said Proctor.
Proctor goes on to criticize Hanna’s plan to “patch-up” southside schools instead of building new facilities, such as a southside high school.
“Superintendent Hanna’s ‘Patch Up Program’ for southside’s existing schools equates to economic gerrymandering of public dollars. This practice suppresses building new southside school facilities and oppresses our taxpayers and children,” said Proctor.
Proctor closes his comments by advocating for an appointed superintendent: “The twenty-first century School Superintendent of Leon County should be an appointed position for a skilled unifier and professional education manager.”
Include below is Commissioner Proctor’s letter.
Commissioner Bill Proctor calls for Appointed School Superintendent
Last week, I wrote a letter to the Tallahassee Legislative Delegation requesting that they oppose a proposal to arm classroom teachers in Florida Schools. I explained in my own terms why I deemed this policy to be a bad idea. Indeed, I respect our teachers. They should be protected but not made to police.
Consistent with my interpretation of the negative impacts of arming teachers have been other voices. These include Time Magazine and CNN. Time Magazine reports that “Black children will be the victims of Armed Teachers” in a story written by Sherrilyn Ifill who is the President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
Also, a CNN article headlined that “Lawmakers fear arming school staff could harm black and Hispanic students” was reported by Athena Jones and Carolyn Sung on Thursday, March 8, 2018.
Superintendent Rocky Hanna, who my letter was not addressed to, released a statement saying “Bill Proctor is nothing more than a school yard bully.” He further noted “his rhetoric is an embarrassment to our community.”
A great bullying act by Superintendent Hanna was his recent orchestration to get the all female Leon County School Board to reverse their previous commitments to build a new southside high school inside Capital Circle southeast. This reversal of plans lead by Superintendent Hannah is larcenous against the children and taxpayers in the south county. Southside voters supported the last sales tax referendum, in part, because of promises that a new southside high school would be built.
It is now obvious Leon County needs a Superintendent who will listen to and serve all people regardless of geography. We need an appointed Superintendent who rises above the politics and pretense of being a big baller shot caller who lords over all things, taxpayers and personnel of Leon County Schools including the school board.
Superintendent Hanna actions are injurious to the growth, dignity and advancement of the Leon County School District as a whole. His refusal to invest public dollars into new infrastructure for southside modernization of educational structures stymies the southside’s development and growth.
His “Southside School Patch Up Program” is indeed scandalously short sighted. It undergirds and exemplifies poignantly Harvard University’s findings in 2015 that “Tallahassee Florida is the most economically segregated community in the United States.”
Superintendent Hanna’s “Patch Up Program” for southside’s existing schools equates to economic gerrymandering of public dollars. This practice suppresses building new southside school facilities and oppresses our taxpayers and children.
I encourage everyone to tour Montford Middle School and then tour Fairview, Nims and Griffin Schools. The school facilities which help distinguish the learning experiences of children are radically different here in Leon County.
Although the Superintendent suggested that I am “an embarrassment” to our community, may I offer that a comparison of Montford School to Nims, Fairview or Griffin Middle School—counterparts of Montford—is a visible “embarrassment” to the Leon County School District. Superintendent Hanna presides over a school district that fosters “separate and unequal” school facilities consistent with Harvard’s findings.
The twenty-first century School Superintendent of Leon County should be an appointed position for a skilled unifier and professional education manager.
The southside is a good and faithful partner of the Leon County School system. There is no good reason the Superintendent and School Board should fight against us. We have patiently waited for parity and equalization of our schools which are badly needed and long overdue. Southside taxpayers deserve far greater than a band-aid fix-up for our schools.
Superintendent Hanna’s “Southside Patch Up Program” is a farce and a robbery. However, this disastrous plan by him to leave our southside schools and children behind compels me to see that our community deserves to have an appointed superintendent. The voted upon commitments and plans of a county’s school district should not be left to a flip-flopper elected superintendent.