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Sunday, December 24, 2006

E-mail addresses of members of Cobb County Board of Education

Here are the e-mail addresses of the board members, for the benefit of those who may wish to send thoughts about the board's recent decision to settle with the plaintiffs in Selman v. Cobb County:

teresa.plenge@cobbk12.org,
lindsey.tippins@cobbk12.org,
curt.johnston@cobbk12.org,
betty.gray@cobbk12.org,
laura.searcy@cobbk12.org,
Johnny.Johnson@cobbk12.org,
Kathie.Johnstone@cobbk12.org

Phew -- with a Johnson, a Johnston, and a Johnstone, it is hard to keep these members straight.

Here is some useful information --

(1) The newest board member started in 2003 -- all the other members started in 1997 or earlier.

(2) The textbook stickers were adopted in 2002 and the lawsuit was filed in the same year.

(3) In 2005, the board voted 5-2 to appeal the case. Prior to the board's decision, the board's law firm agreed to work for free on the appeal.

Here is a timeline and articles about the history of the textbook stickers.

There was no change in the board membership during the history of the textbook stickers and therefore the board's about-face cannot be attributed either in whole or in part to a membership change.

Another reason why the board should not have dropped the case is that this was considered to be a unique and important test case and it would take years for a similar test case to go through the courts. The progress of these lawsuits is often slower than molasses in a winter cold-snap at the South Pole. More than four years after the Cobb County lawsuit was first filed, it was back at square one in the district court -- it appeared that a whole new trial would have to be held because the missing evidence had not been found and was not likely to be found.

Another problem is that the board's treacherous cop-out came without warning -- at least without warning to those who were not closely following the board's proceedings. Had there been some warning, it might have been possible to talk them out of it.

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