By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Afterward, Wallace wrote an email to the senator's personal email account, thanking him profusely. "I am very thankful you were able to restrain him because I don't know how much more harm would have come to me if you had not intervened." Wallace declined an interview request, but he indicated to parents that he didn't call police because he wanted to keep the school out of the news. West did not respond to numerous email and phone messages.
In an apparent last-ditch effort to keep some normalcy at the school, Wallace hired an attorney, who promptly fired Garza. With that, Sanders had lost his biggest ally. It was another setback for Team Deion. In the parallel pseudo-reality universe of Sanders' life being captured for OWN, Garza had become an important hero of the story, the educator allied with Sanders. Awhile after he had been fired, Garza says, he got a call telling him he should go to Prime Prep's homecoming football game. He went. Students ran toward him and hugged him.
Openly defying Wallace's wishes, Sanders' reality television crew was there too, swooping down on Garza during the embrace. "That's just priceless," Sanders told Garza, as cameras rolled. "You can see how much the kids know you care about them."
"To me it was a good exhibit of what to show, of what Prime Prep could be, of how much better it could be," Garza says.
Back in real life, the story was becoming less inspirational, with more people claiming to have been attacked and bullied. Sanders began leaking news to WFAA. "D.L. Wallace is no good. He's a snake," Sanders told WFAA's Brett Shipp in October. "He ain't no good. All he is there for is money."
That same day, news leaked about Sanders' fight with Jefferson, the CFO, who was pursuing assault charges against Sanders. Sanders defended himself on Twitter. "I won't sit and witness my Prime Prep kids receive 2nds when they deserve the best education! There was no assault, but a definite confrontation," he said. Sanders was charged with a misdemeanor. He pleaded no contest and received a $200 citation.
King-Sanders promptly fired him. But hours later, her decision was undone. With Fox 4's cameras rolling, Wallace and Sanders hugged, then stood together with Board President T. Christopher Lewis. They'd made up. Sanders would be brought back, the men announced, with an "expanded role" at Prime Prep.
The make-up session didn't last. Sanders took the feud back to the media again in November, openly telling WFAA about his plans to overthrow Wallace. Wallace resigned three days later. In a letter to parents, he detailed the allegations of abuse against him and Sean Allen and worried openly for the fate of the school.
"I am very concerned that Deion will run off anyone who is not willing to break all the rules so he can get his way," he wrote. "It is almost impossible to serve the best interest of parents, students and the Texas Education Agency and battle Deion's renegade tactics at the same time."
Sanders came for King-Sanders next.
It was December 6, about two weeks after Wallace's ouster, and the ice storm had shut down just about everything. But board President T. Christopher Lewis went ahead with a meeting to "review" King-Sanders' job performance. "When I see reports that our kids are failing, and we have upset parents, I think something's got to be done, so that's what we're trying to do," he said. And those problems were King-Sanders' fault, he said: "Basically the majority of the power in this school is given to the superintendent to do everything."
Only a couple months before, Lewis had embraced King-Sanders' firing of Deion Sanders. "I write in support of the decision to end the relationship between Prime Prep Academy and Mr. Deion Sanders," he wrote in a press release after the firing. But that sentiment, too, was short-lived. Now Lewis and two other board members had defected to Team Deion, and only they and their allies seemed to be clued in on the times and dates of their board meetings. Fort Worth parents and teachers, the ones who liked King-Sanders, say they knew nothing of them. They have no idea who Lewis is. Another board member stopped showing up to meetings because he says Lewis "is a person who has gone rogue." That board member, an attorney named Okey Akpbom, recently filed suit against Lewis, accusing him of violating the open meetings act.
Among the few people who did make the meeting that night were some of Sanders' associates, including Reginald Calhoun, who greeted parents as they came in. Calhoun has been identified by WFAA as a former Prime Prep parent who pulled his kid out of the school. But records show that Calhoun is also the co-director for the Prime Time Association, Sanders' nonprofit. (Calhoun denies that he is an associate of Sanders. "I'm an advocate for kids, that's it," he says.)
Lewis, the board president, began the meeting with a few subtle digs at King-Sanders. "Unfortunately, our current superintendent is not present to give us an update on NCAA compliance," he said. "I was hoping for an update from our superintendent, but she's not here."
Not only should the school be shut down, CPS should take away custody from any parent who was dumb enough to send their kids to this pseudo school. Even if you buy the premise that Deion is in it for the kids, you have to concede that he got in way over his head. Putting together a school is not like putting together a football camp Deion, you dumb fucking jock.
This poor guy has received nothing but bad from everybody he has attempted to help. Nobody understands what he's trying to accomplish, and they take advantage of him and refuse to cooperate fully. He has a lofty vision that transcends the ordinary Joe Blow, and when people he's taken in to get on his team don't do a satisfactory job for him he's going to let them know it. He wants results, he wants effort, he wants dedication, he wants honesty, and he's just not getting it from the people he's paying. Who can blame him for being upset? Anybody who has put his whole life into something this important would be upset. We are only getting a biased picture from those who have not done their job as he wants them to do it. Remember, he has a side also. I've never seen him in my life, but from everything I've read about him I think he's an unusually great guy.
This is not a Charter School and should be shut down. Those of us that live here in the Southern Sector are sick of this shit
I am certain Ms. Silverstein is fine with a pen, but she doesn't have to use pink construction paper, nor does she have to grind that brassy pen fit to score the sheet. Honestly. I am not happy with Silverstein's lead.
For one, Ms. Silverstein, you left out the most important aspect of Deion Sanders' professional career: absolutely masterful athlete, so damned top-drawer he did not even have to try.
Simply because Sanders used his muscle and mind to defeat most of the National Football League even on a bad day, putting him in a "stadium of a frustrating social condition" simply to prep herself, Ms. Silverstein seems to have deliberately forgotten how Sanders became a master of a sport that, while most professional sports no longer interest me as they did when I was younger, is hard-core and one hell of a better hobby than buying cole slaw at KFC from some dude that wears a Colonel Sanders goatee as if goatees are some kind of joke.
I deeply respect Deion Sanders' willingness to bring charter schools to South Dallas, the area typically ignored by white power in Dallas, left to the "car seat on the porch" syndrome, a bit of social commentary so masterful it is amazing the white-boys cannot even dream about what that may mean:
How does, "We are not getting in your damned car!" sound, Ms. Silverstein? Is that a strong enough statement here in regard to you labeling Deion Sanders first of all "a celeb"?
Here we are, people, almost 70 years since Rosa Parks and her intently competent friends decided to drive the Southlands to show Mississippi, Alabama and all the other Eddie Haskells in "th' hood" how "goin' down South" actually feels, and yet here we are still, having to put-up with "writerly recklessness" in regards to a man who is working hard to make something happen for some of the poorest people in one big doughnut of a city.
I'm still wondering when The City of Dallas is going to take my suggestion and park some huge, orange dumpster trucks right in the impasses that allow Highland and University Parkies out of the doughnut hole to wreak havoc in Dallas for "crappie and giggles".
That is a suggestion. Sometimes you have to put a steel dog chain halter on the ponies and lead them to the paddock when they refuse to do it their own damned selves.
This school gives other Charter Schools (great ones too) a bad name.
This school should be closed or if D. Sanders is all about the kids them make it a private school and he can fully fund it with the money he was blessed with.
Let TEA do a Full investigation.
Long story can be shortened to this: 2 crooked con men with no education and no experience educating kids wanted a charter school. Their primary motive was money! Free, taxpayer money! They got a State Senator (Royce West) and the Education Commissioner (Robert Scott) to push the application through, even though the application was filled with lies and deception and fraud. After the school opened, and the money started flowing, their greed continued to grow. Each wanted more and more, and each wanted more than the other. An exorbitant salary wasn't enough for one, and a TV show with an undisclosed amount of money wasn't enough for the other. Their greed had no bounds. They turned on each other and began accusing each other. But the truth is as from the beginning, both are con men.
@docharleyday1 Deion is not paying anyone anything. Period. The taxpayers of Texas are paying these salaries... including Deion's. Deion has never contributed one dime to this school. He and DL Wallace submitted a list of corporate donors (financial backers), but this turned out to be a made-up lie. Deion doesn't care about result, effort, dedication, honesty or any of the other virtues you listed. Deion wants MONEY! Deion wants to inflate his ego! Deion want to enlarge the façade of Deion being a good guy!
@gordonhilgers Wow. You must be a Deion sniffer... you talk just like him. Makes no sense at all! You're trying to sound intelligent, but you don't possess a full understanding of the words you are using. So it all comes out as gobbly-gook.
@gordonhilgers Did you take a nap after all that? If so, I hope your dreams weren't as confusing as your post.
@Blackman2day That ringing sound? Oh, that was Mr. Blackman2day hitting the nail on the head.
@Blackman2day Pretty much business as usual in the Dallas African-American community. Too bad that it spilled over to Fort Worth.