Tuesday, November 19, 2013

School settlement: Comment from afar

Posted By on Tue, Nov 19, 2013 at 1:05 AM

click to enlarge LONE HOLDOUT: Leslie Fisken (center) prevented John Walker from speaking at Monday's LRSD board meeting. On the left is board member C.E. McAdoo. Right is member Dianne Curry. (corrected) - BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
  • LONE HOLDOUT: Leslie Fisken (center) prevented John Walker from speaking at Monday's LRSD board meeting. On the left is board member C.E. McAdoo. Right is member Dianne Curry. (corrected)

I signed on a balky Internet from a ship off the Spanish coast this morning to — hope against hope — find my rare optimism  had  been  warranted and  that the  Pulaski desegregation case had been settled.

Yes.

Then I read the blog report on the school board meeting at which it happened.

Oh no.

A single Little Rock School Board member, Leslie Fisken, prevented John Walker, the lawyer who's worked on behalf of black children for a half-century as a party to the case, from speaking.

Dumb. Hard not to see it as spiteful. Walker wanted to make a point about an issue he will continue to press with even more vigor — location of school facilities. It wasn't going to be pleasant in the best of circumstances. 

John Walker was right.

The vote against him  was symbolic  — a white board member suppressing speech by an advocate for black children who made the agreement happen. It was also fruitless, as the end of the meeting soon proved.

Fisken should have reflected on how Walker's settlement saved the district a good two years of last-gasp appellate court litigating, at a minimum. And perhaps more significant damage.

Settlement or not, the district's imperative to do right by the children at the root of this case isn't diminished by Monday's news. You may be sure one man in the room last night will remind them of that frequently.

Back to watching the distant horizon.

Tags: , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (34)

Showing 1-34 of 34

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-34 of 34

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • Home again

    The plan, formulated months ago, was this: Ellen and I were going to go to Washington for inauguration festivities, then fly out the morning after the balls for Panama City and a long planned cruise to begin with a Panama Canal passage.
  • Who needs courts?

    Not since the John Birch Society's "Impeach Earl Warren" billboards littered Southern roadsides after the Supreme Court's school-integration decision in 1954 has the American judicial system been under such siege, but who would have thought the trifling Arkansas legislature would lead the charge?
  • Bungling

    If the late, great Donald Westlake had written spy thrillers instead of crime capers, they'd read a lot like the opening weeks of the Trump administration.
  • UPDATE: Campus carry bill amended by Senate to require training

    The Senate this morning added an amendment to Rep. Charlie Collins campus carry bill that incorporates the effort denied in committee yesterday to require a 16-hour additional training period before university staff members with concealed carry permits may take the weapons on campus.
  • Director to resign from state court administrative office

    Supreme Court Chief Justice John Dan Kemp announced today the resignation of J.D. Gingerich, long-time director of the administrative office of the courts.

Visit Arkansas

New Crystal Bridges exhibit explores Mexican-American border

New Crystal Bridges exhibit explores Mexican-American border

Border Cantos is a timely, new and free exhibit now on view at Crystal Bridges.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation