Reine Duell Bethany - Author and Illustrator
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Undeserved EMplyment versus Hempstead Schoolchildren

The more I study the history of the Hempstead Public Schools, the more it looks to me as though the needs of the district's children succumbed to the fear of unemployment among some of the African American people on the school board and in the Village of Hempstead.
     I didn't believe it at first when some people claimed that the school system was ruined by decades of patronage, in which one particular school board member got herself into a position to hire unqualified applicants in exchange for portions of these applicants' paychecks. But with time and research and talking to people who worked in the school system -- teachers and service providers who actually were qualified -- I realize that yes, this person actually was given de facto control over hiring. The only reason I can imagine this scenario being allowed is that African Americans have, not always, but too many times, been betrayed by a white-dominated system when seeking jobs.
     This fear of not getting employed could (and apparently did) lead to a system of bad record keeping and hiring of incompetents that kept village African Americans employed, but dreadfully betrayed the village's children.
     I don't get it. The whole scenario makes me sick. I can understand one person having the temptation to enrich herself by playing on the fears of her group; but I don't understand people taking advantage of her underhanded offers instead of exposing her.
     By 2010, other villagers did indeed make legal attempts to expose here, but it was several years before she was finally voted off the school board; and she is apparently still trying to manipulate results behind the scenes.
     I won't name this person here because I am so upset. Also, I have more fact-finding to do. Perhaps someone will see this blog and add enlightening comments.

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