Douglass needs help 

The National Oklahoma City Douglass High School Alumni
Association has existed in its present form, to support the growth and
development our school and its students, for 26 years. We have existed
through a litany of school administrators. The history of Douglass High
School now stretches over 122 years. It has produced giants of leaders,
educators, doctors, jurists, and businesspeople.

However,
what is now brought into focus, if allegations are proven correct, is a
travesty of the highest proportions. The institution of public
education has had its ups and downs over the years. The commitment that
Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma City school board have made to students
and schools through MAPS for Kids is monumental, historic and
far-reaching. We are now called to ask if there were false hopes and
promises. We trust not.

Administrative
oversight at Douglass and other schools, I suspect, has been lacking.
In recent years at Douglass, we have seen legions of teachers leave,
retire or — in some instances, according to reports — get forced out.

Notwithstanding
the multitude of information that continues to be eked out, we as an
organization of concern stand ready to fight back. If allegations of
malfeasance and grade-tampering are found to be true, we have egregious
wrongs that have been heaped upon both current and past students. The
diploma that has been issued is found to be without guarantee. That has
lifetime consequences for the students who come to school and expect to
be properly educated.

Our
eyes are focused on the Oklahoma City school board, the administration
of its superintendent and, more particularly, on the changes that must
be implemented at Douglass.

A compass has been broken and our way back must be found.

—James R. Johnson, Oklahoma City

Johnson is president of the National Oklahoma City Douglass High School Alumni Association.

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James R. Johnson

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