Ackerman: 'Lynch' mob victim?

Posted: August 25, 2011

LONGTIME ACTIVIST Novella Williams fought long and hard for someone with the "talent" and "skills" of Arlene Ackerman to help the city's children, Williams told the School Reform Commission yesterday.

Still, the SRC yesterday approved the agreement to buy out the former schools chief.

Williams was among many Ackerman supporters gathered at the meeting still angered by Ackerman's departure Monday, when it was announced that she would receive a $905,000 severance package including $405,000 from private donors.

Before the vote, a slew of speakers, including state Rep. Curtis Thomas, decried the buyout and demanded that the names of the anonymous donors be revealed.

"She deserved not to be lynched by three of four black men," Williams said, referring to SRC Chairman Robert Archie, Acting Superintendent Leroy Nunery, Mayor Nutter and state Rep. Dwight Evans. "I didn't think my [black] men was going to destroy her."

SRC members remained silent. After the meeting, several security officers barred reporters from approaching the commissioners and rushed them out of the packed auditorium.

Attendees frequently booed SRC members and Nunery so loudly that the meeting had to be stopped several times. They flung insults at the board, called them "hustlers," "Judas" and "punks," and demanded their resignation.

At one point, the crowd, led by community activist Peety Brown, began singing "Greatest Love of All." Several people also angrily blasted Chief Financial Officer Michael Masch.

Parent Desiree Whitfield said that Archie should be charged with murder because he "murdered our children's potential."

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