Mass rally, conference, petition naming Dr. Angela Huff as MNPS director

Citizens talk with board member, Tyese Hunter (center) following the mass rally.

Citizens talk with board member, Tyese Hunter (center) following the mass rally.

Rev. Enoch Fuzz (an influential Nashville minister with respected access to powerful city ‘movers and shakers’ and public policy decision makers, clergy and community leaders) spearheaded a community effort to demand that the Metro Nashville School Board members name Dr. Angela Huff, a Nashville native, as Metro Nashville Public Schools District Superintendent.

A mass rally and news conference was held at Corinthian Baptist Church on July 29 in an effort to continue to display broad community support for Huff, promote a community petition to obtain thousands of signatures to be delivered at the August 11 board meeting, and consider community support for a recall election on some current board members in light of recent board decisions.

The community showed up to support this effort as well as the public forum interview of Angela Huff.

“Dr. Angela Huff is the individual with a fresh perspective to what Davidson County needs, and she just happens to be an African American,” was the attitude expressed by community leaders who continue to speak on behalf of the needs of the children attending pubic schools.

Rev. James ‘Tex’ Thomas led the rally/news conference with a spiritual word and other community leaders followed with a brief statement of understanding for the community who seeks answers to why the qualified candidate is seemingly being overlooked after the position of superintendent was not accepted following the selection of the first qualified candidate, Mike Looney.

Speakers on this issue in included: state Rep. Brenda Gilmore who noted her stand with the community to send a strong message to the Nashville School Board, saying, “Choose the first female and African American who is smart and had a demanding public interview with positive responses”; Rev. James J. Greene of Mt. Lebanon Missionary Baptist Church noting the importance of doing ‘right’ creates ‘right’ outcomes, and doing ‘wrong’ creates ‘wrong’ outcomes; Rev. Frank Stevenson of St. Luke Primitive Baptist Church, who is a student liaison for TSU and served as the head master of a charter school noting the ideas that Dr. Huff possessed and her qualifications making her the choice not because she is a woman or because she is Black but because she is qualified; Tyese Hunter, Metro School Board member expressing her support and concern as “Dr. Huff was the only candidate that stated in her interview that she was ‘called’ to do this job”—also expressing disappointment that she was the only person to vote for someone who seemed to impress the board as a highly qualified candidate and “something happened overnight”; Ed Kindall who served on the school board for approximately 25 years simply saying, “I don’t know when the rules changed—it was always the next person in line”; and George Thompson, attorney, saying the system is broken when we can’t follow the process that is set in place.

Prior to the mass meeting and press conference held there was a special call meeting at the NAACP that addressed the same issue. Many of the same type comments were made in support of Dr. Angela Huff, while some of the school board members wanted to ensure that the focus remain on “the children.”

Sharon Gentry, School Board director, said: “Now that we are where we are, I see much support. We need this support all the time.” Teachers present at the mass rally asserted that no one has actually “asked the teachers who they may want.”
The community seeks answers to this community situation.

“You have people that are telling you what you want, so my suggestion is that you listen,” said Jones Paideia, parent.

Community encouraged to sign petition and attend next School Board meeting August 11

Concerned clergy, community leaders, officials, teachers and citizens are calling for the community to show continued support by attending the next School Board Meeting to be held on August 11. A petition is also available that will be submitted at the meeting for those unable to speak or attend.

Regular meetings of the Board of Public Education are held at the Administration Building of Metropolitan Public Schools, 2601 Bransford Avenue at 5 pm.

It is also encouraged that you make a statement. However, you must follow the guidelines below in order to acquire three minutes to speak, and it must be requested and approved on or before Friday, August 8.

Community encouraged to sign petition and attend next School Board meeting August 11

Concerned clergy, community leaders, officials, teachers and citizens are calling for the community to show continued support by attending the next School Board Meeting to be held on August 11. A petition is also available that will be submitted at the meeting for those unable to speak or attend.

Regular meetings of the Board of Public Education are held at the Administration Building of Metropolitan Public Schools, 2601 Bransford Avenue at 5 pm.

It is also encouraged that you make a statement. However, you must follow the guidelines below in order to acquire three minutes to speak, and it must be requested and approved on or before Friday, August 8.

Board Appearance Procedures

The Metropolitan Nashville Board of Public Education regularly holds two public meetings on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month unless otherwise advertised. The Board hears public comment at second Tuesday meetings.

Process to request to appear before the Board of Public Education:
• Requests must be received by the Friday at 4:30 pm (two days in advance) before the scheduled meeting.
• Send a letter (by e-mail or fax) to request appearance before the Board that includes: name, address, phone, e-mail,
speaker and topic, and board meeting date.
• Once the request to appear has been approved you will be notified by e-mail or a phone call.
• Speaker should arrive at least 10 minutes prior to start of meeting and a board staff member will greet you.
• If speaker has information for distribution, they must have at least 20 copies.

Send your request for appearance and any other information to the Board Administrator via e-mail at <board.administrator@mnps.org>, fax 214-4480, or mail to 2601 Bransford Avenue, Nashville, Tenn. 37204.

Speaker has three minutes at the podium.

Contact E. Fuzz at 615-977-6855 or W. Clay at 615-569-8380 to receive petition information.