Dear Editor,

 

In an opinion piece to the Washington Post last March, Harry Jackson criticized Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology, and stated that commitment to excellence at the school was lacking.  Mr. Jackson is now serving as president of that school’s PTSA after a summer of infighting that resulted in members of the Executive Committee resigning and Mr. Jackson taking over the presidency.  Now he shows little concern for maintaining excellence at the school, frequently appears in the media criticizing parts of the PTSA membership, and appears unable to competently run the PTSA.   

For example, at the October 14th PTSA meeting, the agenda still hadn’t been approved 2 hours and 20 minutes into the meeting.  Also, the president made snide comments about members and allowed one of the attendees to speak throughout the meeting (often without being recognized), monopolize the debate, go off-topic at will, and criticize and abuse other attendees. The attendee’s criticisms were directed at others by name and revolved around his complaint that they needed more training in Robert’s Rules of Order.  

Ironically, the attendee making the criticisms broke a number of Robert’s Rules himself by speaking without being recognized, interrupting others who had been recognized, accusing members of having ulterior motives, straying from topics under discussion, and preventing the business of the meeting from proceeding. All of these actions break Robert's Rules of order but the president never objected.  

It is hard to recognize what value the PTSA meetings bring to the school under the current presidency so I suggest the PTSA executive committee refrain from scheduling future meetings until these problems can be resolved.   

Marianne Burke

Parent of TJHSST graduate

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