True, but an attorney she recently hired, a woman named Kimberly Carlisle, did come. She stood up. "There is no quorum present," she said. They needed at least four board members, she said. "There is ice and snow outside, there are lots of people who would like to be here," Carlisle said.

The crowd was frustrated by the interruption. They wanted a meeting. The first to challenge Carlisle was Omar Jahwar, another friend of Sanders'. (When Sanders and his ex-wife, Pilar, were locked in a custody battle in March, Jahwar testified on Sanders' behalf.)

"I'm not playing tonight, we're going to have a meeting," Jahwar yelled from the back of the auditorium. "We're not going to play the game ... until everybody get their crew," he said, referencing the missing board members, "and then you get your crew, and then we get our crew. Because it's going to be a different type of crew."

D.L. Wallace and Sanders introduced the school to hopeful parents in 2012.
Patrick Michels
D.L. Wallace and Sanders introduced the school to hopeful parents in 2012.
Board President T. Christopher Lewis led the ouster of the principal parents loved.
Mark Graham
Board President T. Christopher Lewis led the ouster of the principal parents loved.

The meeting dissolved, and Carlisle returned to her Lexus to find the windows busted out, according to the complaint she filed with police.

At the next meeting, 10 days later, Sanders himself appeared, dressed in a gray hooded sweatshirt. He sat with parents in the Dallas auditorium. They joined hands for a prayer: "We thank you for the spirit of integrity and truth."

The coup itself was anticlimactic. Lewis and the same two trustees quietly mumbled their way through a confusing agenda for a few minutes. Then they left for 20 minutes. They returned.

"Is there a motion regarding, uh, the employment, or performance, of the superintendent, Miss Rachel Sanders, King-Sanders?" Lewis asked.

Yes, there was, the trustees quietly said. Barely audible, they announced that King-Sanders resigned, "effective immediately."

That was it. "At this time, we are going to close, um, this meeting of Prime Prep Academy," Lewis said.

"Do what?" a parent yelled.

"At this time, I'd like to close the meeting," Lewis replied.

"Why are we here?" the parent yelled. "No one can barely hear you."

Another trustee, Mary Panzu, spoke in a tense, high voice. She said that parents could come to another meeting in January. "I really do encourage you all to keep coming back," she said.

Carlisle was back, accompanied by a man, who yelled at the board. "These parents showed up, on time. You say, 'Come back.' Come back for what? To be disrespected? Over and over?"

Sanders, noticing that the complaint was coming from an enemy, stepped in. "Hey parents, don't go for that," Sanders said, his distinctive voice booming through the room. "Don't go for that. What he just said, don't go for that."

The board told the parents that they'd hire a new superintendent soon. They were accepting résumés. And then, the president had an announcement that seemed to warm the suspicious crowd over.

"I also want to acknowledge our co-founder, Mr. Sanders," he said. "I'm glad that for all the things we've gone through, that he's still with us. And I think that's one of our largest and most valuable assets, is his role at this school. So Deion, thank you."

The room erupted in applause. Someone whistled. A quiet woman's voice said, "Yay," as the applause died down.

"Is Miss Sanders relieved from her duties?" another parent double-checked.

Only a few days later, the board announced that it had hired a new superintendent, a process that takes most school districts months. Ron Price, a former Dallas ISD trustee, would take over the schools.

"I saw the news stories like everyone else," Price said in an interview about a week later, after a town hall meeting at the Fort Worth campus. "Then the next thing you know, I saw people smiling and hugging or something. So I don't know."

Price said he'll probably hire Sanders back as athletic director. "I know Mr. Sanders has a vision, he was the founder and he really wants to concentrate on athletics, and that's where he'll be," he said.

Everyone else starts from scratch, he said. He said he'd order the administrators to reapply for their jobs. "As long as I think that you care about kids, you're on the team."

Sanders made a rare appearance at the Fort Worth campus that day. He was friendly, charming a group of moms and posing for photos with teachers. Approached at the meeting by the Observer, he waved off allegations that he attacked Wallace.

"Oh my God," Sanders said. "God bless, God bless you." He quickly walked away.


Jefferson, the CFO, was among the first of Sanders' adversaries to fall. Over winter break, just two weeks after Price was hired, all of the administrators hired by Wallace, including Jefferson and Sean Allen, found they could no longer log into their email accounts. They were done.

But Cole, the counselor who'd testified to Sanders' comments, didn't hear anything over the break. So she came back to school, hoping for the best. It was 8:30 a.m. The first person she saw was Robinson, the principal. Robinson stopped her.

You're not "authorized" to be here, Cole was told. When she asked why, the principal hesitated. She was silent for a few moments. "I just heard you weren't supposed to be here.'"

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17 comments
skelton.michael
skelton.michael

This article gives you a full understanding of why Mr. Sanders is such a spiritual man. It's because he knows that if God hand't blessed him with such speed and athleticism, he would probably be a trustee of a different sort of institution.

Fred-dorfman76
Fred-dorfman76

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. 

docharleyday1
docharleyday1

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.

smichaelclark591
smichaelclark591

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

gordonhilgers
gordonhilgers

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. 

barron50
barron50

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.

Blackman2day
Blackman2day

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.

Blackman2day
Blackman2day

@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!

benwellsstreet
benwellsstreet

Yea it's super great how he chokes his employees...

Blackman2day
Blackman2day

@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.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@gordonhilgers Did you take a nap after all that? If so, I hope your dreams weren't as confusing as your post.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@Blackman2day That ringing sound? Oh, that was Mr. Blackman2day hitting the nail on the head.

Cowtown
Cowtown

@Blackman2day Pretty much business as usual in the Dallas African-American community. Too bad that it spilled over to Fort Worth.

 
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