, Port Arthur, Texas

December 3, 2012

‘No comment’ not serving PAISD community

Rich Macke
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — It’s been a little over a month now that PAISD Superintendent Dr. Johnny Brown has not been to work. Multiple closed-door meetings along with the ever-so popular “No Comment” from PAISD personnel, board members and attorneys have created an onslaught of speculations as to why.

Yes, we have all heard the rumors, and they do make for some interesting conversations, but what I don’t understand is why absolutely no, I mean “ZERO”, information is being produced to the community of Port Arthur who are the very people that pay the salaries of each employee at PAISD? I understand that the PAISD Board of Directors, who are not paid by the community, are the group that is ultimately making the decision to keep their lips sealed on this issue. And I understand that they are surely getting their directives from their attorney who really has no vested interest in the future relationship between PAISD and the community of Port Arthur. But “No Comment” again and again and again?

Is it not enough that just 5 years ago, the PAISD was very aggressive in getting in front of the entire community asking that it pass a bond in the amount of $189.5 million dollars to help move PAISD forward? Or even that just this past September, the community of Port Arthur was asked to approve a 13 percent tax increase to again help PAISD? Is it that we are only important to them when they need something?

Do we not warrant a reason as to why the individual, who is in charge of the 19 schools that this community sends their more than 9,000 children to every day, is not at his post?

“No Comment” can, and probably will, continue to be the result of closed door meetings at PAISD. But all that does is lead our rationale to believe that the rumors are true. No statement whatsoever from either side really makes us wonder. Put yourself in this situation and think “what if it was me”? I think each and every one of us would be the first person standing up for ourselves to set the record straight.

I am a huge admirer of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and one of his quotes keeps coming back to me as we work through this.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

So where do you stand, PAISD? Behind closed doors or in front of the community that has supported you year after year?

Rich Macke is publisher of The Port Arthur News. Contact him at