Norreese Haynes...The Real Story!

     From the moment that Norreese Haynes became a member of the Clayton County Board of Education, things changed dramatically!  He first exposed the sordid waste of taxpayers’ money on a boondoggle purchase of “swamp land” for $18,000,000.00.  The Clayton County Grand Jury investigated this dubious purchase and came back with a report which vindicated Mr. Haynes and validated what he had been saying.  (After this vindication from the Clayton County Grand Jury, Mr. Haynes was contacted, on the same day, by the FOX national news network and the four local television networks, 2, 5, 11, and 46.  He turned down requests for interviews from all five, stating that “we just need to move forward.”)   The superintendent at the time was Dr. Barbara Pulliam, and she did not sign one of the major contracts (for $8,000,000.00 for the purchase of dirt to try to improve the land) in this deal.  Instead, Chairperson Ericka Davis and the late Jean Hicks, Chief of Staff for Dr. Pulliam at the time, signed the contract.  When Mr. Haynes made an official request of a copy of The Power of Attorney which Ms. Hicks would have needed to sign a contract for the superintendent, he was informed that no such document existed.  What all of the fuss on the Clayton County Board of Education is about is the fact that Mr. Haynes, our Executive Director here at MACE, from his first month on the school board, has been making GAE members, Ericka Davis and Rod Johnson, the Chair and Vice Chair respectively, look bad.  You ask how?  Let me tell you some of the story…


   The Clayton County elementary teachers have been moaning about a reading plan foisted upon them.  This program is called Direct Instruction.  In fact, I wrote an extensive article (on this web site) denouncing this program.  The contract for this program was up for renewal.  Mr. Haynes kept speaking out against this program as well as against a much-hated curriculum program for the middle schools and high schools called Kaplan.  (On this web site, you will also see where MACE picketed against this Kaplan program.)  Again, against the protests from Mr. Haynes, the school board voted to renew these programs – at a huge cost to taxpayers.  However, when the new superintendent, Dr. Gloria Duncan, came on board, she stated that the programs would essentially be dismantled because she wanted the Clayton teachers to be freed up to teach.  Again, Mr. Haynes was vindicated.  (I hear that one or two principals in Clayton are still using the Direct Instruction program, much to the chagrin of the teachers.)  Even last week, Ericka Davis sheepishly in essence admitted that the Kaplan program fell short of what it was expected to do. She apparently criticized the administration for bringing the program to the school board.  Again, Mr. Haynes came out smelling like a rose.


   In May of this year, Mr. Haynes orchestrated The Teacher Bill of Rights to full passage by the school board.  Mr. Haynes authored this policy, introducing this policy in March.  We have emails from Ms. Davis showing that she was trying to slow down its passage by the board.  But, steam had been building for its passage, and apparently none of the board members, including Ericka Davis and Rod Johnson, wanted to be seen as anti-teacher.  However, being good GAE members, Ericka Davis and Rod Johnson, supported a Johnny-come-lately document which Sid Chapman, President of the local GAE affiliate, brought forth.  Even after Mr. Haynes’s policy had already been passed by the school board, Mr. Haynes was gracious enough to vote for Mr. Chapman’s much inferior document (it did not have the same teeth in it because it had to be watered down since GAE includes administrators and supervisors in its membership) the next month.   Mr. Haynes even complimented Mr. Chapman’s efforts.  But, in the mind of teachers, The Teacher Bill of Rights held the day.  In fact, the reporter with Clayton News Daily, Curt Yeomans, told Mr. Haynes that the story that he wrote about The Teacher Bill of Rights was picked up by the Associated Press and got more hits by other media outlets than any other story which he had written.


   In an apparent attempt to exonerate herself from the bad publicity swirling around the land deal, Ericka Davis led the charge to get rid of Weekes & Candler as the law firm which represented the school board.  Weekes & Candler had been represented the Clayton County School Board since January of 1989 and has the reputation of being one of the finest firms in the Southeastern United States when it come to school law.  It has been representing the DeKalb County Board of Education for about 35 years.  However, Davis and Johnson were determined to replace this highly-esteemed firm and to replace it with a firm with offices in Amsterdam, Brussells, Milan, Rome (not Georgia), Tokyo, Zurich, London, Miami, and about 30 other cities.  This firm is the fourth largest law firm in the world and was charging the Clayton County taxpayers $455.00 per hour to try to figure out how to keep me out of the school board meetings.  (If they don’t watch out, I may get a complex!)  I was falsely arrested in January of this year for quietly holding up two signs (one sign read, “Pulliam Must Go!” and the other sign stated:  “Ericka’s brother criminally accused Clayton teacher of having sex with him.  Hmm.”) at a Clayton County School Board meeting.  I was standing at the back of the room and did not obstruct anyone’s vision.  In fact, the police officer said that I did nothing wrong.   I guess that Ericka  was sore that I mentioned her brother.  But, that’s just the facts, Jack.  I was also sore that he falsely criminally accused one of our MACE members of doing such a terrible thing.  MACE never left her side in the horrible episode – which even included a three day trial in Superior Court which was covered by the national media.  In fact, I turned down to national talk shows in New York City – all expenses paid.  This teacher was found “NOT GUILTY,” and I think that Ericka Davis is perhaps embarrassed about whole thing.  People tell me that it is all “personal” against me.  Well, I know that she libeled me in January in order to try to get some resolution passed.  (This will be address in court.)  She also apparently said a few things about MACE and its website, the one you are now on, at last night school board meeting.  She just does not know the law and what she needs to say or needs not to say.  She evidently does not know that when a state agency regulates some speech, it needs to have a compelling interest and that the regulation has to be “content neutral.”  Hmm.  You can read about the false arrest in January on this website.  All charges were dropped.  I guess this may have made Ericka and Rod even more mad at me and/or MACE.  Mr. Haynes raised even more ruckus about these outrageous legal fees – and about the dubious reasons for which the fees were spent.  Finally, even Ericka Davis and Rod Johnson must have realized the political vulnerability of trying to hold on to this international and expensive firm, so a move began to play itself out.  One of the associates of this firm would become the school board’s “general counsel” as well as its “staff attorney.”  This is an oxymoron.  It cannot happen.  This is a great and classic conflict-of-interest as well as a violation of the law since Dr. Duncan never recommended Mr. Dorsey Hopson as required by O.C.G.A. 20-2-211(a).  But, I will you with a link to just one of the many letters which Mr. Haynes wrote concerning this illegality.  Mr. Haynes brought down the heat on this matter, and this is apparently why Mr. Hopson and Mr. Johnson have gone on a mission to try to flip all of their misdeeds upside-down and to attack Mr. Haynes and even me.  Mr. Haynes has exposed the two contracts which implicate Ms. Ericka Davis as well as Mr. Dorsey Hopson.  Mr. Haynes says that it constituted “fraudulent inducement” and “fraud on the factum.”   Link onto Mr. Haynes’s October 10, 2007 for starters.  It is a fascinating read.


   Last but not least of the reasons which apparently caused Mr. Johnson to “lose it” (so to speak) and to do the unfathomable thing of making complaints with SACS against fellow board members and thus jeopardizing the Clayton County students was Mr. Haynes’s questioning as to whether Mr. Johnson’s wife’s pay had been docked while she served in the Georgia General Assembly.  Mr. Haynes now has the payroll documents in hand, and, no, Ms. Celeste Johnson’s payroll had not been appropriately docked while she served as a legislator in the Georgia House of Representatives.  Do you reckon that Mr. Johnson is afraid that he and his wife will have to pay back the money to the taxpayers of Clayton County?  Hmm.  Desperation will cause people to do desperate things.  People will forgive you of everything except success.  Mr. Haynes has been too successful on the Clayton County School Board, and jealously is a powerful emotion.  By the way, the accusation are getting more and more hilarious each day.  About a month ago, Mr. Johnson claimed that MACE received $10,000,000.00 from one of the alternative education vendors (the one which Dr. Pulliam recommended to the school board on June 4, 2007 and was unanimously approved by the SASS Committee on June 18, 2007).  However, Mr. Johnson and Ms. Davis were still pushing for another vendor after these dates.  Mr. Haynes informed them that they could not bring this additional vendor into the school system without Dr. Pulliam recommending it.  Ericka Davis and Rod Johnson seemed “hot to trot” to get this vendor into the school system despite the fact that that the superintendent recommended another vendor.  This is what much of the controversy is all about.   Neither MACE nor Mr. Haynes received even ten cents from this vendor or any other vendor.   At the November 5, 2007 school board meeting, Rod Johnson stated that he had called the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and retracted his earlier statement about MACE receiving $10,000,000.00.  Thank you, Rod.  That was very kind of you, but the damage was already done, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) continues to mention this farcical and ridiculous accusation – even in a article in the November 28, 2007 edition of the paper.  Today’s AJC discussed another one of Mr. Johnson’s bogus and outrageous complaints, claiming that Mr. Haynes “bill[ed] the district $500 for a fax in his home.”  Mr. Haynes says that he did not purchase any fax, but simply accepted and uses the one that the school provided to him when he took office.  Well, don’t bother to ask for Haynes’s response, Ms. Megan Matteucci, the cub reporter who wrote the article.  That might make the AJC look to evenhanded.  No wonder that the subscription numbers of the AJC are dropping precipitously.


   For some good informative and entertaining reading, please click onto the links below and discover the real facts behind the continuing story of how Ericka Davis and Rod Johnson have exhibited their control-freakish ways – to the detriment of Clayton’s children and teachers.


                                                                       December 4, 2007



Norreese Haynes's October 10, 2007 Letter

An Explanation for Mr. Johnson's Outrageous Attack

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Clayton County

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