Your new superintendent-to-be quits her old job early because the emails she sent on official accounts read more like Lady Chatterley's Lover, only with dildos attached to chairs.
Nancy Sebring advises you about the reason for her early departure -- and that she's desperately trying to keep the whole thing out of the newspaper. She says she doesn't want Omaha Public Schools board members to be blindsided.
You, the board president, along with the board's lawyer, tell no one. And when it all hits the fan, you lie through your teeth about what you knew. You claim ignorance.
And when your lies are found out, your supporters start to cry racism. And sexism, for you are a black woman. If you've gone this far, what's a little shamelessness?
It must be interesting to be you, Freddie Gray.
ULTIMATELY, your fellow board members vote 8-4 to keep you as president, because the OPS board is more a close-knit conspiracy than a governing body. According to the Omaha World-Herald:
Before the vote, Gray made a statement highlighting her goals and accomplishments and urging her fellow board members to “continue on this journey with unity and purpose regardless of tonight's outcome.”
Gray said she wished to be judged on her entire work, not just the Sebring situation.
“There are privacy and withholding of information rationales that can be debated,” she said. “But it comes down to my fellow board members looking at my president's tenure totally and coming to the conclusion that we are, or are not, moving in the right direction.”
She said she believed that she still could be an effective board spokesman and leader. With a crowd of nearly 250 people packing the board room, Gray's supporters on the board praised her leadership and said she shouldn't be removed for a well-intentioned mistake.
“She made a mistake,” [board member Shirley] Tyree said. “She's going to have to live with that mistake.”
Tyree said she didn't want to disrupt the board as a second superintendent search gets under way and kids head back to school on Aug. 20.
[Member Justin] Wayne said the board “can't preach about accountability if we don't hold ourselves accountable.”
He said he wanted Gray to acknowledge that she made a mistake. If she did, he said, he would be willing to support the board publicly censuring Gray but allowing her to stay on as president.
“I heard a lot of people today talking about mistake. I've never heard Mrs. Gray use that word,” Wayne said.
Kersten Borer made the motion to remove Gray, calling her a “bold and passionate leader” but saying that removal was necessary “in order to move forward, improve communication and regain trust from the community.”
Wayne seconded the motion, but the votes weren't there.
[Member Nancy] Huston said Gray was at the center of “a scandal she did not create.”
“She has been a good president,” Huston said. “She is leading us.”
LEADING YOU is no virtue if it happens to be over a cliff.
Support for public education is a tenuous thing these days. When an inner-city school district starts to look as if its governed by arrogant, unaccountable incompetents and overall moral cyphers, it is only a matter of time before middle-class parents with the money to have options abandon it to the poor and to the incorrigible, who have neither.
Really, if you can't deal with l'affaire Sebring, can't get rid of a renegade board president and your moral compass can't point straight, running a successful school system really is a bridge too far. "Urban nightmare," on the other hand, isn't.
And "pathetic" is your everyday reality.