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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Mayor's Bro Heads School Security. There Was Just a School Shooting. We're Just Saying ...

Posted By on Wed, Oct 17, 2007 at 11:23 AM

Just because Mayor Frank Jackson’s brother Nick is incompetent, arrogant, and widely despised in his plum patronage job with the city school district doesn’t mean he’s responsible for every catastrophe there. Many city leaders failed to fix our broken schools long before he arrived. Still, it’s hard not to notice Nick’s fingerprints on last week’s shooting at SuccessTech Academy. He’s the district’s deputy chief of business operations, which means he oversees maintenance, transportation and -- you guessed it — security in the schools. It’s a job he won a few years ago when Barbara Byrd-Bennett was CEO, and kept when Eugene Sanders took over. No one seemed to mind that Jackson had approximately no previous experience in security. Sanders, wisely, did hire a safety chief to handle the day-to-day task of overseeing more than a hundred school-security officers. But that person left in July, and the post has been vacant ever since. Jackson has been filling in. Who knows if he had anything to do with the absence of metal detectors at SuccessTech? Who knows if anyone could have stopped 14-year-old Asa Coon from executing his attack? All we know is that, during his career in local government, Nick Jackson has left a trail of bungled construction projects, sexual harassment charges, and bogus bus-rider counts. Not exactly the first person you want protecting kids. -- Lisa Rab

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