Fort Worth (CBSDFW.COM) Angry parents showed up by the dozens at Fort Worth ISD Tuesday morning demanding the district pay their kids. They say their kids earned $8 an hour doing campus maintenance through FWISD’s Good Hands Program.
“There will be massive civil disobedience in your district until you pay these children. That’s my promise to you,” an unidentified parent shouted to a district official.
For 15 days the parents took their kids to school campuses to do maintenance work inside and out. The idea was they’d learn some life skills and get paid. Parents thought this was a great program. Trouble is, the school board never approved it.
“We looked into that program and we determined we could not fund that program and we advised Mr. Tatum of the same but he proceeded with it anyway,” says Clint Bond, FWISD spokesperson.
Rev. Kyev Tatum is the founder of the Good Hands program which he says kept 100 kids off the streets this summer. They learned to mop, buff, weed-eat and mow lawns with the help of FWISD maintenance crews. Tatum says he had a deal with former Superintendent Walter Dansby to go ahead with the program even though he admits being told by the district the maintenance program could not fund it.
“We thought maintenance was the idea place because they would be doing maintenance work,” explained Rev. Tatum. “But when he said maintenance could not fund this, I simply assumed maintenance was not the funding source.”
Rev. Tatum says students have worked a combined 7,500 hours. Parents spent time and gas money taking them to work each day and they can’t understand what went wrong.
“These kids came to these campuses everyday with the knowledge of the ISD and they worked and the only thing I want to see is, my two daughters included, all these kids get paid,” said parent Aishia Waller.
“We didn’t want to fund the program because we were concerned about children and their safety and now we have to come back and deal with a problem that was done without our knowledge and again our concern is to do what’s right for children,” said Bond.
“We’re not looking at this from a legal paperwork standpoint,” says Rev. Tatum. “We’re looking at it from a moral conscious standpoint.”
Rev. Tatum says he plans to file a discrimination complaint against the district for not paying the kids.
Bond says the school board will review the matter and take possible action.
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