<<opening for eyewitness news at six>>
HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.... I'M LEAH JOHNSON.....
AND I'M FRANK MALLOY.
THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX...
OUR TOP STORY AT SIX - PEOPLE IN MACON AND BIBB COUNTY CONTINUE TO REACT TO BIBB COUNTY SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT ROMAIN DALLEMAND'S PROPOSED PLAN TO OVERHAUL THE BIBB COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM...
HE CALLS IT - THE MACON MIRACLE.
WE SPOKE WITH MORE THAN TWO DOZEN PARENTS YESTERDAY ABOUT ROMAIN DALLEMAND'S STRATEGIC PLAN...
AND TODAY... WE WALKED THE HALLS WITH TWO STUDENTS WHO AGREE THEY SHOULD HAVE A SAY.
JENNIFER MOULLIET SPOKE WITH THE TWO SENIORS TO FIND OUT WHY THEY THINK PARTS OF THE PLAN WON'T WORK..
TANNER PRUITT... A SENIOR AT CENTRAL HIGH SAYS HE'S NO STRANGER TO SCHOOL BOARD ISSUES.
HE SAYS AS A MEMBER OF THE SUPERINTENDENT'S AND THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION'S STUDENT ADVISORY COUNCILS ...HE SAYS HE'S WORKED TO RAISE SUPPORT FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION.
HE SAYS HE DOESN'T AGREE WITH ROMAIN DALLEMAND'S PLAN
Tanner Pruitt, Senior: ""They just won't mesh well the people that have devised these plans were disconnected from the actual environment that they're supposed to function in."
HE THINKS THE PLAN MAY LEAD TO QUOTAS FOR MINORITIES IN HONORS CLASSES... HE SAYS TAKING THOSE CLASSES SHOULD BE LEFT UP TO THE STUDENTS... NOT FORCED ON THEM.
HE ALSO DOESN'T AGREE WITH THE NEW DISCIPLINE PLAN...BECAUSE HE THINKS STUDENTS WHO ACT OUT IN SCHOOL SHOULD BE PUNISHED.
HE SAYS THAT'S WHY HE'S ACTING.
BRETT FELTY SAYS HE'S TRIED TO CONTACT DALLEMAND SEVERAL TIMES... EVEN AT BOARD MEETINGS... BUT HE SAYS THE BOARD IS DELIBERATELY IGNORING THEM.
Brett Felty, senior: "Its really frustrating to feel like no one is interested in listening to how this is affecting us because this is in fact our education."
HE SAYS DALLEMAND IS LIKE A DICTATOR ... HE SAYS IT'S CREATING A SENSE OF TERROR IN SCHOOL.
"if people didn't understand what was going on then they wouldn't be able to revolt from what is going on, that's sort of what's happening no one gets what's happening so no one knows that what's happening is bad."
THAT'S WHY HE SAYS THEY'RE PROTESTING.
"We're not going down there with picket signs or to scream until our lungs collapse we're going down there to show them that we are students and we care about this."
HE SAYS THEY HOPE THE BOARD LISTENS THURSDAY WHEN THEY'LL PRESENT A FORMAL PETITION AND A COUNTER PROPOSAL.
JENNIFER MOULLIET 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
"In general there are too many artificial constraints being put on the system too many regulations for teachers and will ultimately impede students and teachers from functioning in an affective learning environment."
"Throughout the plan there are all sorts of purchases that are necessary and no provisions are made for where that money is going to come from."
unless parents or other community members become more aware of what the schools are like it will be very hard to convince them that this is not a good plan."
"The measures that they take to achieve those goals are one incompatible with the school environment that we have and the population that makes up our school environment and two place too many artificial constraints on students, teachers and staff in order to meet these goals."
HE SAYS THEY ARE READING ALL ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY POINTS OF THE PLAN AND REFUTE THEM.... HE SAYS THEY AGREE THE DISTRICT NEEDS CHANGE... BUT THIS ISN'T IT.
HE SAYS WHERE IS THE MONEY GOING TO COME FROM.
"We've gotten absolutely nothing we went down to the board meeting in hopes that we would have the chance to address the board we were told that if we got there early you would get the opportunity to do so we got no chance to address anyone."
HE SAYS THE PLAN IS CREATING A SENSE OF TERROR IN THE SCHOOLS.
"Coupling with the bad economy there's this threating to lose jobs and teachers are absolutely terrified none of them want to voice their opinions because they're afraid that they will lose their jobs."
HE SAYS HE FEELS LIKE THE BOARD IS DELIBERATELY IGNORING THEM.
"If we kind of push these things under the rug don't give them a chance to speak then the general public has this idea that this plan is wonderful... and I'm not saying that things are wholely bad but there are a lot of things in which we take issue."
"Forcing it so students to behave better they're allowing kids that are behaving badly to get away with it."
"I have teachers that have gotten me to where I am that have been wonderful to me and they're the reason that i'm able to move on and go to college and it's not fair to them."
"A formal petition as well as a counter proposal where we have gone through and refuted line by line everything in which we take issue."
FELTY SAYS THEY SEE THE EFFECTS OF THE PLAN ALREADY... HE SAYS THEY'RE LIVING IT.
THE TEENS WILL MARCH FROM TATTNALL SQUARE PARK TO THE BOARD OF EDUCATION THURSDAY MORNING.
AND AFTER OUR FIVE O'CLOCK STORY AIRED...BRETT FELTY SAYS HE GOT A PHONE CALL FROM THE SUPERINTEDENT'S OFFICE...ASKING HIM AND TANNER PRUITT TO MEET WITH A DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT TONIGHT...TO CLARIFY THEIR QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PLAN.
FELTY SAYS HE'LL ATTEND THE MEETING...BUT THURSDAY'S PROTEST WILL GO ON.
COMMUNITY REACTION ON DALLEMAND'S PROPOSED PLAN IS SPLIT..
MONDAY - FORMER MACON MAYOR C. JACK ELLIS AND SEVERAL PASTORS ACROSS THE COMMUNITY ANNOUNCED THEIR SUPPORT FOR THE PLAN..
TODAY - SOME BIBB COUNTY PARENTS SAID THEY'RE NOT ON BOARD.
AND AS AMY AUBERT SHOWS YOU... ONE PAIR OF FRIENDS... SAY THEY PLAN TO TAKE ACTION ONLINE... THROUGH SEVERAL HUNDRED "LIKES"... ABOUT THEIR "DISLIKES."
Nats, turning page
SUPERINTENDENT ROMAIN DALLEMAND CALLS IT... THE MACON MIRACLE... BUT BIBB COUNTY MOTHER OF THREE... JESSICA NEESMITH SAYS IT'S ANYTHING BUT. Nats, page. Jessica Neesmight, Macon: "I haven't seen anything in that plan that I agree with." NEESMITH SAYS SHE TOOK ACTION ONLINE. MONDAY... SHE STARTED A PETITION AGAINST DALLEMAND'S STRATEGIC PLAN ON A WEBSITE CALL CHANGE DOT ORG. EACH SIGNATURE SEND A NOTIFICATION E-MAIL TO THE BIBB BOARD OF EDUCATION. LESS THAN 24 HOURS LATER... 105 PEOPLE SIGNED UP. Nats: "The plans that are trying to be placed are ridiculous." SHE'S NOT ALONE... FELLOW BIBB COUNTY MOTHER JESSIA MOSS... USED FACEBOOK TO SPREAD THE WORD. SHE CREATED A "VOTE NO TO MACON MIRACLE" PAGE. Nats: "I've got 303 likes, and I added these up earlier and that's 33 comments... 263 comments..." THE BIG CHAT... SHE SAYS... MOSTLY FOCUSES ON CLOSING THE SCHOOLS... CUTTING TEACH JOBS... AND NOT INCLUDING ANY SAFETY MEASURES IN THE PLAN. Jessica Moss, Macon: "I'm not in disagreement with a plan, but I think this plan should be veto-ed and reassesed." SHE CALLS THE PLAN UNREALISTIC... AND SAYS THE CLASSROOMS HER KIDS ARE IN ARE ALREADY OVERCROWDED. Jessica Moss: "My number one thing is safety for our children, you can;t put but so many kids in a class per one teacher. The teacher needs to feel safe and the children need to feel safe." FOR BOTH MOSS AND NEESMITH... THEY HOPE TO GET ENOUGH ON-LINE LIKES... TO HIT THE "X"... FOR GOOD... ON THE PROPOSED PLAN. AMY AUBERT... 13WMAZ... EYEWITNESS NEWS.
THE BIBB COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD IS CURRENTLY SCHEDULED TO VOTE ON THE STRATEGIC PLAN FRIDAY.
THEY ALSO HAVE A SCHEDULED BOARD MEETING ON THURSDAY. SPOKESWOMAN STEPHANIE HARTLEY SAID THE AGENDA IS STILL BEING SET AND SHE COULD NOT COMMENT ON WHETHER THE BOARD WILL VOTE ON THE STRATEGIC PLAN.
WE'D LIKE TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS SURROUNDING THE PROPOSED PLAN FOR BIBB COUNTY SCHOOLS.
WE WANT TO GATHER YOUR THOUGHTS.... CONCERNS AND COMMENTS..
ON TWITTER.. YOU CAN SHARE WITH US BY USING THE HASHTAG #MACONMIRACLE.
AND IF YOU WANT US TO SEE YOUR POST ON FACEBOOK... MENTION MACON MIRACLE AND MAKE YOUR STATUS PUBLIC.
LAST YEAR... ROBBERIES... AGGRAVATED ASSAULTS AND AUTO THEFTS IN MACON DROPPED.
THOSE CRIMES ARE AT THEIR LOWEST LEVELS IN NEARLY 20 YEARS.
BRITTINY BARBER BREAKSDOWN THE NUMBERS FOR YOU.
SEVERAL VIOLENT CRIMES IN MACON LAST YEAR... FELL TO THEIR LOWEST LEVELS SINCE 1994...
MACON POLICE RELEASED THE A BREAKDOWN OF PART ONE-- OR THE MORE SERIOUS CRIMES...
GFX THEY SHOW HOMICIDES DROPPED BY 60 PERCENT FROM 19-94 TO 2011... 17-YEARS AGO 33 WERE REPORTED... WHILE IN 2011 THERE WERE 13...
THE LOWEST HOMICIDE RATE CAME IN 2006.. WITH 12 IN THE CITY LIMITS...
GFX 20-11 BROUGHT THE FEWEST NUMBER OF ROBBERIES ALSO... LESS THAN HALF OF WHAT WAS REPORTED IN 19-94...
GFX AND AUTO THEFTS WERE DOWN 60 PERCENT.. COMPARED TO THE HIGHEST LEVELS IN 19-99...
Jami: I think perception has been that crime is everywhere it relaly isn;'t crime isn't everywhere here."
MACON POLICE SPOKESWOMAN JAMI GAUDET SAYS THE NUMBERS DROPPED... THANSK TO A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT AND THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE..
Jami: "It's not just a quesiton of arresting peopel arresting is just one component it's winnign those convictions so we we work together cooperattively all the time to make sure we're bring the best cases to bear when it comes to the courts."
MERCER PROFESSER AND FORMER PROSECUTOR CHARLES WESTON TOLD ME VIOLENT CRIMES ARE ON THE DECREASE ACROSS THE COUNTRY... ACCORDING TO F-B-I STATISTICS...
HE SAYS THERE'S NO WAY TO PINPOINT WHAT HAS CAUSED THE DROP.. BUT HE THINKS SEVERAL FACTORS PLAY INTO IT...
WESTONThe fact that people are being much more careful and the police apparenty are doing amuch better job and I think also there's a little more of an attitude in certain parts of the community that we need to quit protecting the criminals.
OTHER INTERESTING NUMBERS COMPARING CRIME STATS FROM 1994 TO 2011... RAPES DROPPED 74 PERCENT... AND COMMERCIAL BURGLARIES FELL 53 PERCENT.
BRITTINY BARBER 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
HOME BURGLARIES WERE THE ONLY CRIMES TO INCREASE FROM 1994 TO 2011.
NEALRY 300 MORE WERE REPORTED LAST YEAR.
A WARNER ROBINS BUSINESSMAN AGREED TO BE THE GUINEA PIG FOR A FLINT ENERGIES SOLAR ENERGY PROJECT.
STEVE DAVISON.. WHO OWN'S THE CLEAN CONTROL CORPORATION... FOOTED PART OF THE BILL.
HE PAID 700-THOUSAND FOR THESE SOLAR ENERGY PANELS... AND BUILT THEM ON HIS COMPANY'S PROPERTY
IN RETURN... DAVISON GETS MONTHLY REIMBURSEMENTS FROM THE STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT... FOR GREEN ENERGY INIATIATIVES.
AND... FLINT ENERGIES GETS TO SELL THE SOLAR ENERGY THE PANELS PRODUCE.
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS VOTED THIS AFTERNOON TO RENAME THE BIBB COUNTY COURTHOUSE IT FOR J. TAYLOR PHILLIPS SENIOR.
HE'S A JUDGE FOR THE STATE COURT OF BIBB COUNTY... AND A MARINE VETERAN OF WORLD WAR 2 AND KOREA.
AT 90....HE'S STILL A PART-TIME JUDGE IN THE BUILDING THAT WILL CARRY HIS NAME.
COMMISSIONER JOE ALLEN PROPOSED THE NEW NAME...AND SAYS THE BOARD PASSED IT BY A 5-NOTHING VOTE.
KAREN HANDEL ANNOUNCED HER RESIGNATION AS VICE PRESIDENT FOR PUBLIC POLICY WITH SUSAN G. KOMEN
LAST WEEK... KOMEN ANNOUNCED NEW RULES THAT EXCLUDED PLANNED PARENTHOOD FROM FUTURE BREAST-CANCER SCREENING GRANTS... BECAUSE IT WAS UNDER CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATION.
THE CHARITY REVERSED THAT DECISION DAYS LATER.
THE FORMER GEORGIA SECRETARY OF STATE SAID HER RESIGNATION HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH HER PERSONAL VIEWS ON ABORTION... BUT RATHER THE WAY IN WHICH PLANNED PARENTHOOD RESPONDED
For an outside organization to come in, in the way Planned Parenthood did and conduct this shake down to force them to reverse is absolutely outragous.
HANDEL ALSO SAID CRITICS GROSSLY MISCHARACTERIZED THE NEW POLICY AND HER ROLE IN IT.
TONIGHT AT 11 WE'LL HAVE THE LATEST OUT OF PEACH COUNTY.... AFTER SUPERINTENDENT JOE ANN DENNING MAKES HER PRESENTATION ON WHETHER THE DISTRICT SHOULD RETURN TO A FIVE-DAY SCHOOL WEEK.
THREE YEARS AGO THE COUNTY VOTED FOR A FOUR DAY WEEK TO SAVE MONEY
THAT MEETING HAPPENS TONIGHT AT 7 P-M.