Last night the Fort Worth ISD voted 5-4 to table the latest redistricting plan that would have weakened minority voting strength in probably three of four minority-majority districts, according to opponents. (See Civil Rights or Civil Rights Lawsuit, blog, September 27.)  The vote means that the district will not face the United Hispanic Council of Tarrant County in federal court — not yet.

Trustee Ann Sutherland, an Anglo, joined the current minority members, Juan Rangel, Carlos Vasquez, Christene Moss and TA Sims, in voting against the proposed new map, a vote that opponents of the map called a “civil rights victory.” The vote means that any action on redistricting could be postponed indefinitely since the board did not initiate any action to move forward on a new or revised redistricting map.


Bert Williams, chair of the board’s volunteer redistricting committee, that has been working for six months to find a plan that meets the requirements of the U.S. Voting Rights Act and also satisfies the board’s incumbents, some of whom lost chunks of their districts under the proposed map, was visibly angered by the vote. He said it would be hard to find a group of citizens to volunteer for other chores if the board was going to wind up ignoring their recommendations. “You might as well just do it yourselves,” he told the board.

Some on the board and other minority leaders say the plan presented last night was just that. They believe that some board members were too involved in asking the committee to redraw some of the original plans presented in order to protect their incumbencies and to weaken minority voting strength.

At one board meeting several weeks ago, trustees Judy Needham and Norm Robbins, both of whom voted against the tabling motion last night, said publicly that they had agreed to “swap” some precincts. Needham asked that the swaps be included in the new map, which they were.

At last night’s meeting Vasquez charged his colleagues on the board who voted against postponing a decision on the newest map did not want to accept the fact that Hispanics are gaining in numbers and influence. The Hispanic population has increased greater than any other has since the 2000 census, with the district’s Latino population now at more than 60 percent.

In another issue that was on last night’s agenda, Sutherland said she was “greatly disturbed” about a new board policy that was adopted last night (7-2) that allows the administration to access and read all of the trustees’ emails to and from their constituents, district employees, as well as each other. “This makes me very angry,” she said, claiming it is a violation of privacy and will have a chilling effect on constituents’ and employees’ confidence to speak candidly thru emails to board members. It is the same, she said, as opening someone’s private mail. “I think it is illegal as well,” she said.

Legal director Bertha Whatley, defending the new policy, told Sutherland that if anyone snooped “inappropriately” he or she would “get into trouble.” Sutherland said she does not know what exactly that means. Whatley was not available for comment when this blog was posted.

Stay tuned. 



    The level of trust in this district is a huge concern. The technocrats who are in charge of the administration are a bunch PARANOIACS. They want to have total control of the information to terrorize the employees. Their purpose is to keep the Board members out of the loop to commit their atrocities. We the employees feel and are treated like the slaves who lived in the 1800. Their Masters monitored everything except at that time they couldn’t get what the slaves thought and talked under their breaths.

    It is so ridiculous that in the twenty first century (2100) African Americans are using the same torture techniques to sustain their powers. Who came up with such stupid policy? Who were the stupids who supported it?

    The greatest thing is that not local policy is over the First Amendment which is a constitutional right. Freedom of speech should be not limited by any local and State policy.

    We don’t know how the Administration is going to manage the information that travel through smart phones, blogs, social media like facebook, tweeter and others. They must be crazy or idiots.

    We will challenge this policy and we will use the same strategies the slaves used in the 1800. It is a shame that African Americans who are in power cannot come with another very simple solution to their insecurities of governing a local institution. It is so simple to do what is right and forget about what others might think. Now that the new superintendent, who is African American, is talking about open door policies his administration want to put more padlocks in the few doors that remained open.

    We do not use the district e-mail to communicate openly because always the “big brothers” are watching at what time we sent the message and from where. Their desperate strategy is a waste of their time and an embarrassment for this generation.

    We invite all employees not to read any e-mail from the district and let’s sing KUMBAYA. WE LIVE IN AMERICA A LAND OF FREEDOM.


    Dear Board Members,

    Our students are failing in the same rate from the previous year. Your greatest distraction now is the confrontation for maintaining power to sustain your ego. We have not experienced any significant improvement in how things are managed and the level of confusion is so extreme that we are frustrated with this administration.

    Do not expect a different result if we have the same people leading us. We are asking for a Christmas present to find a SUPERintendent who can CLEAN the house and he/she takes those idiots from their positions whom have proven to be corrupted, and whom have demonstrated their inability to turn the district around.

    If you cannot do something about then we will turn our prayers to the LORD for your promptly replacement from your seat. We still want to believe that children are your priority.

    We pray to this BOARD… AMEN.

  3. The Feds need to come in and indict Needham (again), Robbins, Dickerson and Jackson. This entire District should be taken over by TEA and cleaned up. Whatley, Dawson, Menchaca all of them need to go.

  4. I’m glad the board voted to stop the redistricting plan. HA! Put that in your white pipes and smoke it Needham, Robbins, Jackson and Dickerson! I feel great knowing this is one thing Needham’s dirty money couldn’t buy. You all are evil human beings and should be “voted off the island immediately”! Speaking of big brother, guess what brilliant move FWISD just did regarding our phone systems! All of our desk phones were upgraded to Cisco Iphone 7942G’s. Major rumors stirring about the phones being higher tech, so they can monitor who makes calls, where and for how long!!!! Wow…really? At $370.00 a pop x thousands perhaps! Le me guess; the phones were in the budget to upgrade anyway! I didn’t believe it at first, but judging from the vote to monitor trustee’s email’s, I wouldn’t put it past FWISD to also want to monitor its employee’s even more now than before! Who do I have to sleep with to get freakin’ FBI to come in and investigate this god forsaken district! And we still believe Dansby is the good ‘ol guy fixing this? I believe this much, somebody is getting way too paranoid! If you are wondering who your moles are…hundreds, if not thousands can name them immediately! I won’t name them, because it would be a waste of my typing energy…and if I type their names enough times, I think they said I would probably see bloody Mary!

  5. In response to the phones. They have been installing the phones for going on 3 years. My school has had the phones for 2 years. It was part of the technology upgrades voted in several years ago and they have done it in stages. Personally, I love the phones! I bought an ear piece and can answer the phone from anywhere in my room; this helps me stay in contact with not only tech support but also parents who return my calls. It also allows me to see whose calls I have missed–helping to track my parent contacts. I also work a part-time job that has had this type of phone system for the past 8 or 9 years. Its Industry standard now.

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