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Saletta Urena, a Spanish teacher at Smith, called the locker rooms "uncomfortable, unsanitary, unsafe and even creepy." She said they are infested with bugs and mice. She, too, invoked the word "deplorable."
Urena said, "This speaks to fairness and opportunity, but also to motivation."
There were many more speakers complaining about Smith, but that's enough to get the gist of the complaints. Smith's athletic facilities are as bad as any in Guilford County – at least, they had better be, because if there is a school with worse locker room problems than bugs, mice, mold, mildew and pointy metal things, the entire school board should be arrested for endangering children.
The Smith supporters brought a 10-minute video that they said showed the disgraceful conditions of the facilities. Duncan wouldn't show it.
Duncan said he didn't want to set a precedent of people bringing 10-minute videos to show during the public comment period of school board meetings.
But any school board member with guts could have made a motion after the public comment period to suspend the rules to show the video. None did. Guilford County Schools
and the school board are so obsessed with staying on message, letting out nothing but cheery news, that no school board member dared break ranks and demand that the film be shown.
The impressive thing about Smith is that its assistant principals, teachers, curriculum facilitators and other employees – not just its parents, who are immune from Guilford County Schools
retaliation – are willing to stand up and tell the school board how bad things are at the high school.
Partly, that is just Smith, which has always had feisty supporters. But perhaps High Point Central has set a precedent that is influencing other Guilford County Schools
employees to stand up and be counted.