published Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Live coverage of today's Hamilton County School Board meeting

  • photo
    Board of Education member Rhonda Thurman listens to discussion during a special BOE meeting.
    Photo by Jake Daniels /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Rep. JoAnne Favors is calling for school board member Rhonda Thurman to resign and formally apologize for a statement published in Sunday’s Chattanooga Times Free Press. Follow live blog coverage and share your thoughts here at 4:30 p.m.

Until the meeting, read related stories here:

Black leaders call Rhonda Thurman’s remarks racist

Chattanooga: Favors says Thurman should step down

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Live from the Hamilton County School Board meeting
about Harrison Keely...

Harrison Keely is an online breaking news producer for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He also anchors the daily newscast. He joined the Times Free Press as a reporter in 2010. He previously served as managing editor of the Smoky Mountain Sentinel in western North Carolina and as a business reporter for the Washington Times in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Lee University in 2009 where he served as managing editor of the student news ...

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danathefly said...

I'm not going to waste my time recounting all the reasons Rhonda Thurman should no longer be on the school board. She is entitled to her opinion, but the way she puts things (and this is a prime example) should be reason enough for her to go. Instead of divisive comments with regard to "urban" versus "suburban" schools, it should be about the schools as a whole and not just the individual districts. It's this sort of mentality that is destroying our nation...us versus them. It is also going to destroy the children of Hamilton County if we are not careful. It's time for a change on the school board. Maybe more than one.

July 7, 2011 at 11:46 a.m.
fedup350 said...

The Us Vs Them mentality award definately goes to Jo Ann Favors and her group. To them everythem is always a race issue. Thier every action is based on race and never what is good for the community as a whole. They are race mongers and they keep the black community down by instilling in them that they are lifelong "victims". What happened to M.L.K;s dream that race is not an issue? That has been perverted by the likes of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and copy cats like Tommie Brown and Jo Ann Favors. They make thier living off of rascim. To Jo Ann Favors..you represent your whole disctrict, not just the black people in your district. Why dont you invest your time in making your community a better place, instilling the desire to succeed in your black youth instead of whining and crying that you are a "victim". Life is what you make it. You are not helping only being more divisive!

July 7, 2011 at 12:15 p.m.
dao1980 said...

Good to know it's all about the children... right?

July 7, 2011 at 12:58 p.m.

Based on what comes from Thurman's mouth when she thoughtlessly opens it, she should simply step down. She is irritating others, causing racial animosity and very combative. As someone who does hair for a living she is clearly NOT qualified to provide the guidance for our students, who so desperately need it. What on earth does this female know about balancing a budget for a large school system. Her supporters are taken by her "big" mouth and just don't know any better. Again she's gotta GO!

July 7, 2011 at 1:12 p.m.
328Kwebsite said...

The best we can hope for is that these rude remarks can draw attention to the misuse of government offices to gain money.

I think this is all about who can use school control to get some money after Citizens United. We've had a long series of expensive self-appointments after Mayor Coppinger. Local Republicans are raking in taxpayer cash at over $120K a week. They formed a club to get Mayor Coppinger appointed; these payoffs we see today are the result of those backdoor deals. Those deals include the removal of the last school superintendent. This is just one more drop in the bucket.

It just so happens that local Republicans tripped up by enraging minorities with the wrong comments about slavery as part of lecturing us on how the money should be spent.

So far, their spending habits show that they think the money should be spent on themselves as they falsely claim to save us from Big Government while repeatedly rewarding their friends with six figure sums.

We think school control is about textbooks and students and maybe how to pay for it all. In the big picture, it's a pawn in the game of political money. School systems have many facilities and employees; they are going to be where the money is because of their size and intense distribution of labor. Workers, in this case teachers, are always among the greater of expenses in a business operation. A good concentration of money in city and county governments rests with the schools.

Gain control over the political bodies who control the money, and that money is yours.

The last election cycle shows that GOP financiers favor matching funds. To get a lot of money, you need a lot of money down. They don't give small amounts, because too puny a donation is ineffective. The fastest way to rake in funding is to get control of local governments and rake in the pennies.

Check into cash operations farm pennies from poor people. They successfully use a similar strategy. That industry generously backed Senator Corker.

This is the shell game it takes to raise the seed money for the big bucks. People with predictable behavior make it in politics because someone can bank on what they will do.

Who expects critical questions about financing politics from someone like Rhonda Thurman? She stepped in the bear trap of the public political gaffe for the same reason she's good for someone to have in their corner: her redneck behavior is predictable in its uncouth simplicity.

Predictable people make good hires. She's just an instrument for making someone some money.

Someone is profiting off of her right now. Who?

July 7, 2011 at 1:17 p.m.
noapathy said...

As a "higherlevelthinker" you sure do open your mouth with ignorance. I'm loving that you think she's not capable of representing the children in her district because she's a hairdresser....and you also bring up that she's a woman. Way to go! That's on another level alright...A level of intolerance and perpetuating the very thing you deem as inappropriate. Hurts to hear the truth sometimes, that's the only reason it should irritate ANYONE.

July 7, 2011 at 2:54 p.m.
inquiringmind said...

Go. This is the ONLY constructive thing Thurman can do, nothing else appears within her grasp.

Libertarians4Freedom sounds like a pseudonym for "if its black it has to be bad, if its white it is all right". He sounds like my old KKK friends back in the 50's and 60's, and his rhetoric is as charged as he says Favors is. You are not even a good imitation of Ayn Rand and hardly a libertarian.

July 7, 2011 at 3:27 p.m.
crow1033 said...

this behavior of our school board is so shameful. How can we expect our children to succeed while they watch the lies, antics, racist remarks and hatred from those elected to lead them? Rhonda Thurman and Fred Skillern must go!

July 7, 2011 at 3:39 p.m.
Chattanegro said...

fedup350 it's ok to say black people. Just count how many times you used the words them and their. Your statements are very presumptuous. You speak as though we "Black African Americans" have requested to be discriminated against throughout America's history. I get so damn tired of whites acting as though we should not speak out. It is what it is, and if you don't like it then go tell your like kind to cease the behavior. You sound like the typical ignorant relatives of Rhonda Thurman. I purposely used "black" African Americans in case you didn't realize that there are "white" descendants of Africa who are also African Americans. Stop making excuses for the ills of your race, the truth is the truth. We've dealt with it for centuries and as always we will survive. We are a tough people who supersede you all in intelligence and determination. Why else does your people still continue to try and keep blacks inferior. You know the truth, just admit it or quit it. PS why don't you tell Rhonda that she represents the entire district and not just Soddy. Her comments were offensive, try replacing the word slaves with, crackers, honkies, Soddy inbreds...etc, get the picture?

July 7, 2011 at 3:48 p.m.
xyzyra said...

That pic of Thurman makes her appear a little insane and unstable. I've always considered the possibility.

As for those blacks who actually believe Thurman cares about ALL the childre, black white and other, please listen closely to the negative remarks she's made over the years mainly against black children and the black community in general. You'll never hear her make any remarks about litte white johnny or suzy coming to school stoned and drunk. She's always bashing black students. There are white children too who are reading below level. Some can barely read at all. Where are the comments about those from her? You'll never hear her make any remarks about the white students failing in the school system. Or the parents, so high on meth and other drugs, that the students barely make it to school. Again, why? And why, when Thurman has made such derogatory statements against blacks and black children only, there have been members in the black community that actually thank her for "telling it like it is?"

Rhonda's comments are certainly racist and at least insensitive. However, she's had plenty of encouragement from "certain" members of the black community.

July 7, 2011 at 4:14 p.m.
clandahlina said...

I love it when racist people try to convince the rest of us that they aren't racist. It's amusing. :) For the record, anytime that you support treating one group worse than another, then that's not okay. Rhonda Thurman is supposed to represent the children of Hamilton County, and she clearly is only interested in supporting the white half. She needs to go for that reason alone. Nevermind the fact that she's the least educated person on the board, yet the one who always speaks out first.

July 7, 2011 at 4:25 p.m.
SeaMonkey said...

rhonda thurman is white...and doesn't it just bother you black bigots on here......how dare a white, college dropout and hairdresser, of all things, criticize a great black educaTOR, like dr. jim scales...a man with many diplomas!

she's white and she's right! deal with it my black brothas and sistas....and my dumb, but well meaning white liberals friends.

two words for you libs.....frederick douglass......

he was a slave, chattanegro...he didn't learn to read until he was 12.....

gee, i wonder how great he could've been if he would've gone to one of our fine public schools, with all those millions of dollars and all of those fine educaTORS. that's a shame.

same goes for the "poorly educated" abe lincoln too. he could've been president..oh, wait..he was...

i suspect frederick douglass and abe lincoln would've have a lot more in common with rhonda thurman than the dr. jim scales or joann favors.

these are not slave days.....get over it. stop listening to so-called "black leaders" who talk a good game, but are only interested in perpetuating the whole thing for political and financial gain....open your eyes.

July 7, 2011 at 5:07 p.m.
Legend said...

"Yeah, tell that to B. Hussein Obama who was elected president because whites are so racist that they needed to vote for a black guys to prove that they're not racist. Sure."


Lib4, So how would you explain blacks voting whites into office all those years and decades? You're constant ignorant comments prove your bigotry. Thurman has no more love and concern's education for black children than she'd have for a rattlesnake.

July 7, 2011 at 5:07 p.m.
SeaMonkey said...

well, legend........blacks, or whites didn't have much to pick from in the black community all those years, according to that well known liberal, joe biden, he said, "he's the first clean and articulate black candidate"...referring to obama.

legend....as the testing and cheating scandal in atlanta just proves....teachers unions, many teachers and administrators don't seem to have much love and concern for the ecucation of black children either......it's all about money and getting more from the government. security and benefits... the children just get in the way.......the public school's chickennnnnnnsss.... have come home to roooooooooosssssssssst!!!

July 7, 2011 at 5:21 p.m.
Legend said...

SeaMonkey said... well, legend........blacks, or whites didn't have much to pick from in the black community all those years, according to that well known liberal, joe biden, he said, "he's the first clean and articulate black candidate"...referring to obama.


Then why are you, Thurman and all her followers holding up all those former slaves who learned to read and figure as examples? In one breath you use Federick Douglas(he did run for vice president once, you know), but then you imply there were no blacks qualified until Obama. Can you, Rhonda and your gang make up your minds?

SeaM, long prior to the cheating scandal in Atlanta was exposed, you forget, there have been many white schools all across the U.S. that got caught up in cheating scandals too. In fact, I've known very few white schools that weren't cheating on some level to help white students. The cheating usually catches up to them in college.

"first clean and articulate black candidate?" Well, guess that means Bush was the last "dirty" and we all know Bush can't possibly make claims to being an "articulate" candidate and president?

July 7, 2011 at 5:29 p.m.
ConnieH said...

I think it sad to see people that is writing negative comments in this blog.Legend and Libertarian4Freedom it very apparent that you two are not very well educated. I take people like you to be negative and make the committment that you made. If you have children I feel sorry because they do not have a good role model at all. Be a good role model for you children and a trouble maker.

July 7, 2011 at 5:35 p.m.
johnnyhurst said...

Cracker, Honkey, redneck, hillbilly.Cracker, Honkey, redneck, hillbilly.Cracker, Honkey, redneck, hillbilly.Cracker, Honkey, redneck, hillbilly. Wow I can use derogatory racist words and wont be censored or deleted? ONLY if they are being used in a derogatory statement or description toward WHITES. What is that? I tell you what it is, its racism.

July 7, 2011 at 5:38 p.m.
Legend said...

ConnieH, please re-read what you've written before pointing fingers, and making personal attacks about things and people you do not know. You have 15 minutes to make any corrections here on the forum. Or have your post deleted altogether. I'd suggest you delete. :-)

July 7, 2011 at 5:39 p.m.
crow1033 said...

I find it shameful how people will act under the guise of a pseudonym online with such awful hatred and bigotry. I guarantee seamonkey and Libertarians4freedom wouldn't be so quick to yank off their hoods in person. This is really sad that we treat each other with such disdain when we should be focusing on how to build a better community.

July 7, 2011 at 5:40 p.m.
Legend said...

johnnyh, I just flagged your white on white bigoted post and asked tfp to delete it. Now, does that make you feel better? :-?

July 7, 2011 at 5:45 p.m.
ConnieH said...

Legend I do not know who you are but you are a dummy. You need to get yourself somewhere and stick it. You do not know me and I do not know you and I would not like to know a person of your mind level which is 0.

July 7, 2011 at 5:48 p.m.

LMFAO @ L4F - Carl... nevermind

@ Wildman - I agree. These people have nothing substantive to add. Random scrubs at Walmart could do a better job running this school board.

July 7, 2011 at 5:57 p.m.
ConnieH said...

You know what I do not have time to keep this up with you because this shows that you have a mind of a child. If you have all that education you would not be on here with all that negative talk. I have a college degree also and I am black . What is your point.

July 7, 2011 at 5:59 p.m.
johnnyhurst said...

Yes Legend, Thankyou very much. I think we are making progress, how ever small :}

July 7, 2011 at 6:01 p.m.
MasterChefLen said...

328Kwebsite you are an idiot Liberal. The politician Democrats are just as corrupt and in general, quite a bit more incompetent than Republican politicians. The Liberal solution to everything is "throw more money at a problem" and give entitlements to people who can work but decide not to, and collect a check. All the while, blaming someone else for their problems. You probably live for the days that Jimmy Carter ran this country. Your hero is probably Mayor Ron Littlefield and his "rubberstamp city council."

July 7, 2011 at 6:34 p.m.
Legend said...

ConnieH said... Legend I do not know who you are but you are a dummy. You need to get yourself somewhere and stick it. You do not know me and I do not know you and I would not like to know a person of your mind level which is 0.


ConnieH, do you even remotely realize you've described yourself more so than your intentions to describe me or anyone on this board? Why don't you take your own advice and wear it proudly? LOL-@-U!!

July 7, 2011 at 6:46 p.m.
Legend said...

@As for me, I engage in realist talk, if I see a man defecating I'm not going to say that he's performing a dance ritual, I'll say he's defecating.

When black kids don't learn how to read I'm not gonna blame Thurman

Lib4, the only 'REAL' talk you engage in is when there's some bashing of another race. Perferrably, black or hispanic. As for the "defecating" comment, that's cute, but has no relevance here. Don't worry about the defecating man. Worry about all those stoned and drunk white kids showing up for class most days STONED and DRUNK.

Are you saying there are NO white kids who can't read? I'll beg to differ. Plus, where did that myth come from that black kids don't know how to read? I've tutored black, white, Asian, Hispanic, American Indian children. Guess what? They all seem to be struggling for whatever reason. Could it possibly have more to do with school curriculum and other issues rather than not having the desire?

July 7, 2011 at 6:58 p.m.
328Kwebsite said...

MasterChefLen I always find your comments incorrect and amusing. Thanks for writing. Notice that this incident resulted in five each brand new expensive jobs for Republicans.

It's not because of their opinions on chapter four of the tenth grade Geometry textbook.

July 7, 2011 at 7 p.m.
Chatta7 said...

Cottage cheese is my favorite!!. Sometimes it makes me poot. Whatchu guys talkin about?

July 7, 2011 at 7:03 p.m.

noapathy, am simply not jumping on your bandwagon. C ya!

July 7, 2011 at 7:09 p.m.
SavartiTN said...

The problem with this whole matter...hell, in fact, the whole country...is this overwhelming "sensitivity" to every thing. People are so thin skinned now you could blow on them and they would be injured. It's like the Victorian days when women would get the vapors!

Ms. Favors, I have to ask, "Did you really think that Ms. Thurman's statement was racist? Do you know the definition of racist? Did she exhibit a superiority over those of a different race? Did she discriminate against anyone by making those statements? Was anyone harmed by these statements?

The way that I read it, Thurman was frustrated by "poor" children who did not take their education seriously. Is Ms. Favors being racist by making the assumption that "poor = black?" That is just wrong.

BTW, I had a couple of ancestors come to this country as slaves. They were white. They eventually learned to read. On the other hand, I had a grandmother that was born in 1890 who never learned to read because the South was still going through reconstruction in her childhood and there were not enough teachers in the mountains of East Tennessee. There were a lot of children in the South that suffered the same fate...black and white.

In today's world, we are all afforded the opportunity to get a free public education. Your education is what you make of it. Bright, driven children will learn and will succeed because they feel that they must. There are lazy, apathetic people everywhere and they are this way because that is what they chose to be...not because someone else did it to them.

I am beginning to believe that this whole brouhaha by Ms. Favors is in retaliation to the removal of Dr. Scales. Ms. Thurman was never a Scales supporter and made that fact known. I think that the "black leaders" resent this and are now trying to teach Thurman a "lesson."

In the end, is it going to help our school system? Is it going to benefit the students? No, but, apparently, it will make some adults feel much more important and that seems to be all that matters today.

July 7, 2011 at 7:12 p.m.
SeaMonkey said...

legend, you truly are a moron.....did you read myo post? obviously you can't comprehend it. it was quoting joe biden...you know joe biden the vp? what does fredrick douglass have to do with the vice presidency. idiotic..

you injected race into my atlanta public school comments.....i didn't say anything about race. black students and white students are the victims in that mess...

crow..you truly are knucklehead.......every lib on her proves my point quite well. as soon as criticism is leveled at a black politician, whether it be obama, favors or jim scales, by a white person the race card is pulled lightning fast. so predictable.

good point johynnyhurst.......

i want rhonda thurman to run for mayor...i'd like a public official who tells it the way it is....she won't pull any punches......she wont' bend for political correctness.

white students, black students...whatever..they're all being short changed by fat ass and over paid public school administrators like those wizards jessy register and jim scales, by uninspiring and incompetant teachers with benefits on their minds ..and by ignorant and bigoted polticians who have their heads up their substantial behinds..like favors.

the amount of money public schools get is staggering...yet studends are being passed along and graduate without knowing how to read and write??? thurman is stating the obvious.....if you dumb libs want to inject race into it, that's your call.

once again..two words...frederick douglass.

July 7, 2011 at 7:19 p.m.
timbo said...

I am in the car voice typing so forgive my syntax . you can all shut up now. it's all over . rick smith is now the superintendent . the stupid redneck, racist , hillbilly , uneducated, little old ,hairdresser beat the ultra sophisticate ,highly educated, pseudo intellectual ,lookout mountain liberal elite and their puppets the so called black leaders led by joann favors. you lost the power has changed
you can say resign 50 more times and it won't matter . she can be elected in her district for school board or county commission as long as she likes . it's not over til the fat lady sings , it must be over because joanne is singing the blues Further comment is unnecessary .

July 7, 2011 at 7:37 p.m.
Legend said...

SeaMonkey said...

legend, you truly are a moron.....did you read myo post? obviously you can't comprehend it. it was quoting joe biden...you know joe biden the vp? what does fredrick douglass have to do with the vice presidency. idiotic.. you injected race into my atlanta public school comments.....i didn't say anything about race.


Gosh! SeaM and you call me the moron who can't comprehend. Are you for real? Or do you ramble on and on and on so much that you lose yourself in the process?

Yes, I know your quote was referring to joe biden. That you seem to latch onto anything you can find to serve your personal bigotry and hatred, even a joe biden quote. I was referring to the fact that blacks, prior to Obama, ARTICULATE ONES and CLEAN ones at that, even right out of slavery were well, ARTICULATE and CLEAN enough to run for office. tah dahhhhhhhhhhh! LOL

SeaM you would have never even brought the Atlanta cheating scandal up if it did not involve a number of black educators. My point was, the Atlanta school systems aren't the only nor are they the first, and they certainly won't be the last. They just got caught at it. GET IT?

Finally, you seem to desperate latch on to anything to support your racist agenda. Is Frederick Douglas the only black person you can come up with as an example? Out of how man, millions upon millions of black slave, who died tragic and often brutal deaths? Just one? Come now! Surely, you can do better than that.

July 7, 2011 at 7:38 p.m.
Legend said...

@BTW, I had a couple of ancestors come to this country as slaves. They were white

SavartiTN, no you didn't! They were INDENTURED servants. Individuals whose families likely traded them off to pay off a debt they'd incurred. That's a total difference from black slaves. Who owed their slaveowners nothing. Who were stolen from their homeland for the sole purpose of tilling the lands indefinitely while others reaped the benefits. Whose children, and children's children were meant to remain in slavery indefinitely. Indentured servitude, once the debt was paid, the individual was to be set free. Although, rarely was the debt actually ever payed. Plus most indentured servants were able to run off and blend in with the general population once they reached the shores of America. Black slaves didn't have that option.

July 7, 2011 at 7:50 p.m.
happygolucky said...

I believe the most sensible and intelligent comment that has been made was by SavartiTN. Thank you for actually saying what needs to be said. All the bickering amongst everyone is truly not necessary. If the comments that were being posted made any sense it may truly be a useful debate, however it just a bunch of namecalling. Again, thank you SavartiTN.

July 7, 2011 at 8:05 p.m.
SavartiTN said...

Thanks for the compliment, happygolucky.

Legend says, "SavartiTN, no you didn't.* I hate to break it to you, legend, but yes I did! I have read the ship manifest and the records. They were listed as "slaves." And even if they might have really been indentured servants, as you pointed out, the debt rarely was ever paid...which made them slaves!

As for the blending in of races in our society, I remember days when an Irish man was a Mick and no one would hire him. I remember when the Italian immigrants were called WOPs. Just because someone was white, doesn't mean that they "blend" in. That is just not a valid argument. Especially in light of the fact that there were thousands of black people in this country...since it's beginning...who were not slaves.

Just for the record on the "stolen from their homelands." They might have been but who did the stealing? Recently, on a TV show called Who Do You Think You Are? Herschel Walker got to travel back to the Motherland (Africa). After some intense emotional moments at seeing the slave fort, the guide drives him a few minutes away to a place that had hundreds of children living there. Mr. Walker says, "What is this place?"

The guide replies, "This is where we keep the children that we have bought back from slavery."

Walker says, "SLAVERY! That ended long ago."

"Oh no," the guide tells him, "these children's parents sell them into slavery and we buy as many of them as we can so that they can live normal lives."

"Why would they do that? What happens to them?" Walker asks.

"The boys go into the mines. They don't last long. The girls...well..they go to market."

I tell you this to point out that there are still people treated as slaves in this world and no one is doing anything about it. But, the races here can't seem to move past the past and whine incessantly while in some part of the world a little six year old black boy has been sold by his mother and will spend the rest of his short life deep in the mines.

July 8, 2011 at 12:17 p.m.
ConnieH said...

Legend I do not care for you at all. Take your own advice and get a life. I think your are very negative and in the mean time I will pray for you because you need it.

July 8, 2011 at 1:20 p.m.
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