News » The Week That Was

Suggs out

Dexter Suggs image
  • Dexter Suggs

Quote of the Week:

"If Superintendents' [sic] doctoral degree is revoked, rescinded or otherwise nullified, Employer will have no obligation to pay any unpaid amounts which would otherwise be due under this subsection 2.B."

— From the severance agreement releasing Little Rock School District Interim Superintendent Dexter Suggs from employment with the Little Rock School District. The news of Suggs' abrupt resignation came on Tuesday, about a week after Matt Campbell of the blog Blue Hog Report raised allegations that Suggs had plagiarized portions of his doctoral dissertation from Indiana Wesleyan University. Assuming his degree is not revoked, Suggs will be paid around $250,000 over the course of the next nine months as part of the severance agreement, despite the fact that his former contract with the LRSD was rendered null when the state took over the district in January.

Attack of the flagrantly homosexual coaches

Believe it or not, the Bentonville School District became the latest front in the LGBTQ anti-discrimination wars this week. A large crowd showed up to the school board's meeting on Monday, with the majority of public comment against board member Grant Lightle's proposal to extend discrimination protection to persons based on sexual orientation and gender identity. That would mirror the employment policy embraced by the University of Arkansas and that hotbed of leftist activism, Walmart. The American Family Association, though, said the policy would extend "new rights for flagrantly homosexual coaches and teachers in Bentonville. "Having Miss Linda tell her third grade class she married Mr. Bob over Christmas break and now has a new last name is not the same as Coach Jones announcing to the football team that he went to Massachusetts over Spring Break and married his husband Bruce," the AFA said in a statement. Alrighty.

Rep. Bob Ballinger image
  • Rep. Bob Ballinger

An ordinance for Little Rock

The Little Rock City Board's own anti-discrimination policy continues to inch forward, with City Attorney Tom Carpenter issuing a legal opinion on Sunday that said a proposed ordinance would not conflict with the new state law forbidding an expansion of civil rights protections on the municipal level. The Little Rock proposal, which is the work of City Director Kathy Webb, would require people who do business with the city to abide by nondiscrimination policies that include LGBTQ people. State Rep. Bob Ballinger (R-Hindsville), one of the architects of the state law, disagreed. "If a city creates new protection, they would run afoul of the act," he said. Regardless, since the state law doesn't go into effect until the summer, there's nothing preventing Little Rock from moving ahead at the moment.

Criminally bad

At least three circuit judges in Arkansas have now ruled against the state's horribly punitive landlord-tenant law, which makes it a crime to not pay rent and remain on the property. Evictions are sometimes necessary, sure, but criminalizing failure-to-vacate? Even traditionally conservative courts are now conceding that effectively amounts to debtors' imprisonment.

The Quapaw threat

John Berrey, chairman of the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, made an unscheduled appearance before the Little Rock City Board last week to talk about the tribe's recent purchase of 160 acres on the east side of town and its application to make it trust land, which would be exempt from local government taxation and control. City directors said there are "fears" in the community that the Quapaw eventually may want to develop a casino there. No such plans are in the works currently, Berrey said, but he resisted efforts to pin him down on future use of the land.

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