Today (Friday, Jan. 7) at 6pm at Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center (5565 Truman Dr., East Side), students from Dunbar High School will gather to vent their concerns about the recent reassignment of their principal, Doug Williams, and the reasons he has been removed from the school he has led for four years. “All are welcome, parents as well as students,” said Melinda Hamilton, president of the Carter Heights East Side Neighborhood Association, an organizer of the event.
The event was planned, she said, to allow the kids to have their voices heard about the controversial Williams, whose removal followed media reports in this paper and others that he had admitted that he pinched male athletes’ nipples as a “disciplinary” method and that he also took pictures of young male athletes without their shirts on.
His removal by Interim Superintendent Walter Dansby just before school resumed after the winter break was met with surprise and dismay by some students and teachers as well as relief by others. Some Dunbar supporters who were the first to be told of the nipple pinching have said he should have been fired. Comments on Fort Worth Weekly‘s web site have been mostly supportive of his removal.
However, students felt they were the last to know what was going on, and student leaders told Hamilton they wanted to meet and ask questions as well as vent their frustrations. A mother of former Dunbar students who continues to volunteer and mentor kids there, Hamilton agreed to organize an event off campus and after school hours. Popular radio host Robert Ashley will moderate, she said. “Parents, kids, community leaders and school administrators are all welcome,” she said. “Everyone else has had their say about this,” she said. “Now it’s time for the kids to have theirs.”