Parents concerned about leadership's leader
Tupac quote questioned
A Burton School District parent, Sherri Maita, said she is concerned about three disturbing issues — teacher harassment, the dropping of the teaching of the Korean language and missing test results from a child who has perfect attendance and has never missed a test.
That is why she addressed the Burton school board during public comments on Feb. 21.
Maita, who has two children at the school, said she was concerned about the school’s leadership class T-shirts imprinted with a quote by Tupac Shakur, a rapper killed in 1996.
The quote, attributed to Tupac Shakur, read “A good leader creates more leaders and not followers.”
Holding up a T-shirt — a dark green with the Summit school logo on front and the quote and Shukar’s name on the back — Maita asked the board if they believed he was a good representation for the Burton School District’s Leadership Class.
“To quote a felon — even though he did become a gangster rap star before he was murdered by a rival gang member — is not what I think of when I think of a role model for leadership,” Maita said as she addressed the board. “Is that someone we want our children to look up to?”
In case they were not familiar with his look, Maita passed out a photo of Shakur to the board.
“I’m not comfortable with this and neither are a lot of the students,” Maita said. “When I complained [to an administrator] I was told not to tell the teacher how to run the program. I’m almost terrified of speaking out tonight. I’m afraid now of things happening to my children because of this.”
The same instructor, she said, has allegedly bullied male and female students.
A second parent stood and talked about his sophomore daughter who started the school year with straight As, but after three weeks with the instructor went from an A grade to an F grade.
He asked the board and administration to investigate what he called ‘a serious problem.’
The parents would not identify the instructor by name but did say he was a teacher — and the adviser of the leadership program.
Because the issue was brought up during public comments, the board could not respond.
However, both parents were assured that more information would be requested and they will look into the matter.
“The next day, we did get a phone call asking we return the T-shirts,” Maita said. “I don’t know if they will be fixed or what.”
Maita said one main concern is the adviser’s ability to lead a leadership program.
“He has no experience in leadership. He told me himself he’s never had a leadership class nor taken a leadership course,” Maita said. “I’ve been complaining since the start of the year. I’m not the only one who feels this way. There are several parents who feel the same way.”
Maita said other concerns center around the school’s attendance policy, special-education students co-taught with college prep Honors English, the cancellation of block scheduling and of school Letterman academic awards previously offered mid year, and a lack of communication with parents.
Maita did praise many of the school’s instructors, the school dean, and the district superintendent, Gary Mekeel, who contacted her and scheduled to meet with her Friday to listen to her concerns.
Contact Esther Avila at 784-5000, Ext. 1045. Follow her on Twitter @Avila_recorder.