Refuting Racism

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

In an opinion piece, 5/18/18, Rev. Josh Woodrow referred to me and my fellow School Board member, Joe Smith, as racists and white supremacists because we spoke out against busing. I have never met or spoken with Rev. Woodrow so he knows nothing about me.

The reverend obviously knows nothing about Joe Smith either. Seems one of the reverend’s hobbies is “brewing beer”. Maybe, he was enjoying his hobby too much when he accused Joe Smith, who has fostered 19 African-American young men, of being a racist.

Since Reverend Woodrow has only been in Chattanooga since 2013, does he know HCDE has had three black superintendents since the merger in 1998? Does he know that the inner-city schools have had black and white principals, black and white teachers, consulting teachers, lead teachers, coordinators, PEF, Lyndhurst and Benwood Foundations, teacher pay incentives, night schools, magnet schools, STEM schools, majority-minority transfers, charter schools, new school buildings and renovations, business partners and millions of additional dollars trying to decrease the achievement gap? I would love to see the reverend’s list of “racism” he says, “is clearly evident in our school system”.

To spite the reverend’s “demand” I “immediately resign” from the school board, that will not happen. However, I would suggest that the reverend practice what he preaches and judge people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.

Rhonda Thurman

District 1 School Board Representative



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