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Everyone in the city used to enjoy reading Loose Lips (even the column’s victims) because Ken Cummins was a clever writer, whereas Erik Wemple, the current Loose Lips, is just an ass.
Allow me to address some of the issues raised in Loose Lips (8/6), “This Is Your School Board.”
As a member of the D.C. Board of Education, I have done and will continue to do more than my share of real work on the control board’s transition plan requirements. During the board’s summer recess, I have also worked with the superintendent of the D.C. public schools and with parents in the selection of principals and staffs for several elementary schools. I have been a part of the process of dispute mediation between the administration and parents. I have worked very hard with my colleagues on meeting several key control board mandates. None of this work has received any media attention. Whose fault is it that media cover controversy and not dull work?
I have not filed formal or informal charges against anyone nor benefited in any way from the media focus on the board’s July 22 (6-5) vote to remove its president prior to the expiration of one year. I would use your Aug. 6 Loose Lips column as an example, and the Washington Post articles and editorials. I have no confidence in Wilma Harvey’s leadership of the board, and neither does the board; both camps (currently) agree over the need for oversight of her actions. An arrangement based on such obvious mistrust is not an exhibition of leadership in anyone’s book.
Westy Byrd’s unfortunate Loose Lips portrait of her colleagues is vintage doo-doo. Prior to the Loose Lips’ Aug. 6 column, Byrd was also quoted by Colbert King in his July 31 Op-Ed piece, decrying her colleague Den Bonham’s marital problems. What’s the point? According to Bonham’s Aug. 4 letter to the Post, there was a fire in his home that left him temporarily blinded and his youngest daughter critically hospitalized. He needed time to rebound financially and entered into an agreement for temporary waiver of child support. He has since resumed his payments. What’s her point? That everybody’s bad and she’s good?
Reading your Aug. 6 Loose Lips with Wemple as writer and Byrd as reporter reminds me of the Rodney Dangerfield joke: “Why don’t you put your heads together and make an ass out of yourselves?”
D.C. Board of Education