Brian Hyde as superintendent is a step backwards

It will put Mashpee Schools into a hole that we are still trying to dig out of after the Lincoln DeMoura era
Op Eds are the voices of the people

Mashpee Charter School

It is my understanding that schools like the Yeshiva program, is the model that we are following as a charter school. Similar to the highly successful charter schools found in the urban areas of color (Roxbury, The Black, Latino, Vietnamese sections of Dorchester, Harlem, Bed Stuy, South Side Chicago) the Mashpee based charter school will probably escape most people's radar, except for the few extremely liberal parents out there.

As an educator, I can tell you that concerns and scrutiny around educators and educational administrations by, about and primarily for people of color are a hard thing for most Euro-centric folks to accept and swallow. Even the most open- minded have issues with this concept. An example would be the numbers of folks who left the Democratic party in 2008 and did not return in 2012 when Obama was the front-runner.

While it obviously made no real difference in the election, the fact that this was the largest mass exodus in party history is not a point to be ignored. The strategic selection of Biden as a running mate is also noteworthy. Bringing it back to a Charter School formed and led by Mashpee Wampanoag people, rooted in Wampanoag language and traditions, practices, philosophies, etc. is automatically going to take it off of the consideration lost for most people on Cape Cod.

As an educator, I am in favor of any and all approaches that will further the social and intellectual development of our youth. I don't see charter and BIE as an either or, but complimentary. Both types of schools would be of incredible advantage to the youth of the tribe. Unfortunately, we will have to do some back-peddling to get a school through BIA/BIE as the immediately previous administration of the tribe kinda dropped the ball.

Hyde

As to the issue with Mr Hyde, the tribe did not make an about face in regards to its position. A statement issued by MWT Chair Cromwell to the members attending the meeting made that point clear. A single meeting with a person pandering to a group when a career move is on the line fails to undo 25 years of damage.

My first meeting with Mr Hyde

As a member of the tribal community and educator who has been involved with the Mashpee School system in various capacities since 1993, allow me to give you my first meeting with Mr Hyde.

In 1994, I was a substitute teacher in Mashpee. At the time, Robert Lawless was running for DA against Phillip Rollins and I had a "Lawless" sticker on my car. I was in the Mashpee Middle School (now the Quashnet Elementary School building) main office getting my assignment, when Hyde walks in and lights into me about having a Lawless sticker and that if I was going to be a teacher in a school where Mrs Rollins was a teacher, I needed to be behind Rollins. My reply was, "David Hendricks was my cousin" (a 1988 murder-by-cop case that Rollins swept under the rug, without taking eyewitness testimony). Hyde's response to this was, "I don't see what difference that should make..."

Put a dread lock wig on the lone, Black student in his class

A few years later we crossed paths when his class had an assignment to design a Xmas theme for McDonalds they went with "Xmas in Jamaica" which included putting a dread lock wig on the lone, Black student in his class. Hyde's defense: "The students wanted to do it."

My question: "If they wanted to do black-face minstrel, would you have let them?" The young man who wore the wig has since passed away from heart failure as a child. The family was under such frequent fire by the Mashpee schools that the NAACP had to step in and the family subsequently relocated to Georgia where the younger members of the family have and continue to thrive in school and careers. The eldest brother who is one of my best friends, was a full-ride student to Harvard.

Teachers like Hyde are the reason that I was reluctant to put my kid in the Mashpee Public Schools until I had a chance to see how Patty Deboer ran her school. She is a wonderful administrator and if we had four or five more like her, this school system would be turned around. Putting Hyde in as Superintendent is a definite step backwards, into a hole that we are still trying to dig out of after the Lincoln DeMoura era.


CapeCodToday.com welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on CapeCodToday.com.