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Old 10-14-2017, 01:19 AM
 
4,871 posts, read 9,529,149 times
Reputation: 1981

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The Houston Press published a series of articles about the suspension of Bertie Simmons, principal of Furr High School on Houston's east side (serves the Songwood, Northshore, Pleasantville, Clinton Park, and Jacinto City areas).
As did the Chron: Houston ISD investigating new allegations against Furr principal - Houston Chronicle and Houston public media: Without Its Storied Principal, What’s The Future Of Furr High? – Houston Public Media

TLDR:
  • Simmons went out of retirement to be principal of Furr since 2000 and is known for turning around the school (she took students to New York City to prove 9/11 happened as a reward for them being good for the school year)
  • Simmons wanted to continue using school uniforms after Harvey to deter gangs, but HISD admins wanted to suspend uniforms because kids' clothing was damaged by the storm
  • HISD admins accused Simmons of threatening tickets (court action) over uniform non-compliance and argued that it would expose illegal immigrant parents to court scrutiny, while Simmons stated she'd never suspend a student for uniform non-compliance
  • HISD admins accused Simmons of threatening students w/ a bat, while her supporters and students say it's a commonly understood joke - students once presented a bat as a gift to the principal
  • Simmons's lawyer accused HISD of trying to take $10 million in grants meant for Furr and to give it to other schools - Simmons says the grant organizer (Steve Job's widow) only intended the money for Furr and wouldn't give it if the money didn't go where it was supposed to go
  • Simmons's lawyer accused HISD of trying to replace her (older white woman) with a non-white, younger principal

Not a lot of City-Data posters pay attention to working-class east Houston, but we all need to do so.
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Old 10-14-2017, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Texas
5,643 posts, read 5,366,548 times
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This is an interesting story. I suspect there's more to it- both in support of, and against, her.

Will be interesting to see the resolution here.

Last edited by Texas Ag 93; 10-14-2017 at 08:27 AM..
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Old 10-16-2017, 02:28 PM
 
1,483 posts, read 1,584,855 times
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This seems like a complex story, but so far my sense is that she's gotten a bad rap. If you look at her record, it seems like she's done a lot of good for her schools. Given her age, I don't really see the baseball bat thing as a real threat, either. If she refuses to follow school code regarding student attire, I think something has to be done, but I hope they don't force her into an ignominious conclusion to her career. That would be a failure more of the school system than her, imho.
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Old 09-23-2018, 11:18 PM
 
4,871 posts, read 9,529,149 times
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https://www.chron.com/news/education...g-13207168.php

Simmons was fired back in June - The board voted 5-1 in favor of getting rid of her.

She's suing on grounds of age and race. She is also asking for an appeal from the TEA, although HISD is not obliged by state law to follow the recommendations from the TEA hearing examiner.
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Old 09-24-2018, 04:35 AM
 
179 posts, read 70,375 times
Reputation: 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicman View Post
The Houston Press published a series of articles about the suspension of Bertie Simmons, principal of Furr High School on Houston's east side (serves the Songwood, Northshore, Pleasantville, Clinton Park, and Jacinto City areas).
As did the Chron: Houston ISD investigating new allegations against Furr principal - Houston Chronicle and Houston public media: Without Its Storied Principal, What’s The Future Of Furr High? – Houston Public Media

TLDR:
  • Simmons went out of retirement to be principal of Furr since 2000 and is known for turning around the school (she took students to New York City to prove 9/11 happened as a reward for them being good for the school year)
  • Simmons wanted to continue using school uniforms after Harvey to deter gangs, but HISD admins wanted to suspend uniforms because kids' clothing was damaged by the storm
  • HISD admins accused Simmons of threatening tickets (court action) over uniform non-compliance and argued that it would expose illegal immigrant parents to court scrutiny, while Simmons stated she'd never suspend a student for uniform non-compliance
  • HISD admins accused Simmons of threatening students w/ a bat, while her supporters and students say it's a commonly understood joke - students once presented a bat as a gift to the principal
  • Simmons's lawyer accused HISD of trying to take $10 million in grants meant for Furr and to give it to other schools - Simmons says the grant organizer (Steve Job's widow) only intended the money for Furr and wouldn't give it if the money didn't go where it was supposed to go
  • Simmons's lawyer accused HISD of trying to replace her (older white woman) with a non-white, younger principal

Not a lot of City-Data posters pay attention to working-class east Houston, but we all need to do so.

Sounds like she was effective in all the un-PC ways, and they need to get rid of her, since it makes all the nutjobs and fashion victims look bad.



She is pretty old, though, so if we knew what her health was that would help clarify, maybe.


Ah, now I see the real problem after visiting the link; she's white. Never mind, that's the real problem.
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Old 09-25-2018, 07:14 AM
 
4,871 posts, read 9,529,149 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OberonKing View Post
Ah, now I see the real problem after visiting the link; she's white. Never mind, that's the real problem.
Interestingly the current Furr HS principal, Stephen Stapleton, is white, but he's also much younger https://www.houstonisd.org/furrhigh
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Old 09-25-2018, 10:23 PM
 
Location: Westchase
71 posts, read 66,414 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OberonKing View Post
Sounds like she was effective in all the un-PC ways, and they need to get rid of her, since it makes all the nutjobs and fashion victims look bad.
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Old 09-26-2018, 08:06 AM
 
4,871 posts, read 9,529,149 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OberonKing View Post
since it makes all the nutjobs and fashion victims look bad.
Uniforms are still extremely common in HISD. https://www.houstonisd.org/cms/lib2/...20Uniforms.pdf

Also Furr's dress code is pretty strict https://www.houstonisd.org/site/defa...2&PageID=79441 (I am not sure if the TEA/the Texas legal system would count it as a "uniform" for opt-out purposes)

Last edited by Vicman; 09-26-2018 at 08:16 AM..
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Old 10-15-2018, 02:54 PM
 
4,871 posts, read 9,529,149 times
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She got a $100,000 settlement https://www.click2houston.com/news/f...ment-from-hisd
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