School settlement: Comment from afar | Arkansas Blog

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: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

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…

  • Saturday's open line

    Got any thoughts? Put them here.
    • May 21, 2016
  • Payday lenders on the march at legislature

    Payday lenders are working hard to get legislative cover for the reintroduction of their usurious loan business to Arkansas. Some are fighting back.
    • Mar 10, 2017
  • Kenneth Starr: A comment from Betsey Wright

    Betsey Wright, former President Bill Clinton's chief of staff when he was Arkansas governor, responds bitterly to a New York Times article today quoting Whitewater Prosecutor Kenneth Starr's warm words about Clinton. She can't forget the lives Starr ruined in Arkansas.
    • May 24, 2016

Most Shared

  • Industrial hemp pilot program coming soon to Arkansas

    One of the booths at this week's Ark-La-Tex Medical Cannabis Expo was hosted by the Arkansas Hemp Association, a trade group founded to promote and expand non-intoxicating industrial hemp as an agricultural crop in the state. AHA Vice President Jeremy Fisher said the first licenses to grow experimental plots of hemp in the state should be issued by the Arkansas State Plant Board next spring.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

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