by Max Brantley
A reader is disappointed at the Blog's lack of attention to the sudden closure of the Crystal Hill elementary school for fears of the soundness of the roof: He writes:
As a regular of the Arkansas Blog, I am very disappointed that there has been no mention of the roof situation at Crystal Hill Elementary. Isn't moving 712 students on the spur of the moment a story? How about the fact that the district knew in 1998 there were problems with the fire retardant and moisture, the roof has always leaked and a water main broke at least 10 years ago on a classroom wing? And then there's the fact that teachers were volunteering to pack up student belongings and their entire classrooms, with no pay and expected to be ready to teach again on Monday.
Mr. Douglass? (My own thought is that the better question is about when the district knew about potential problems, not the hurryup to get kids out once it dawned on officials sufficiently that there IS a problem.)
UPDATE: The school will be discussed at a special Pulaski County School Board meeting at 5 p.m. today. The meeting also is to discuss "personnel." A District spokesman said she did not know what personnel matters would be discussed. Board president Mildred Tatum declined to reveal the specifics when I called her. She indicated, however, that the personnel issue was related to the Crystal Hill school, abruptly closed last week because of concerns about roof integrity. If my correspondent is right -- the district has had reason for 10 years to suspect problems with the roof -- accountability of one district employee or another might be an issue worth discussing.