Chattanooga: Favors says Thurman should step down

Chattanooga: Favors says Thurman should step down

July 6th, 2011 by Joan Garrett McClane in Local Regional News

State Representative JoAnne Favors talks to the Times Free Press today. Favors held a press conference at the Hamilton County Board of Education today to address statements made by school board member Rhonda Thurman.

Photo by Jake Daniels/Times Free Press.

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Rhonda Thurman

State Rep. JoAnne Favors is calling for Hamilton County school board member Rhonda Thurman to step down over what Favors is calling Thurman's "overtly racist" comments in the Sunday Times Free Press.

Favors spoke at a news conference at the schools central office, flanked by the black members of the school board and county commission and surrounded by other black leaders, teachers and community members.

She's said she's gotten an enormous number of calls from teachers, parents and others over Thurman's assertions in the Sunday newspaper that suburban schools had been neglected while inner-city schools got extra resources.

In a front-page quote, Thurman said: "What do they want? I don't think suburban students have been treated fairly. Poor people learn. Slaves learned to read. I don't know why poor people can't learn to read and write. I have a lot of poor people in my family, but they are still expected to learn."

Favors said she and others would attend Thursday's school board meeting to express their outrage.

Contacted immediately afterward, Thurman told WRCB reporter David Carroll that her future "is up to the voters in 2012."

See a complete story in Thursday's Times Free Press.