Rebuttal to Editorial on Tyron Hampton

The Pasadena Journal editorial criticizing school board member Tyron Hampton [9/4/14] for requesting a paid assistant omitted some critical facts. Mr. Hampton asked PUSD to hire an assistant because he is dyslexic and requires assistance with reading school board documents and in taking notes during meetings. So, while it is true that the other PUSD board members do not have paid assistants, Mr. Hampton apparently needs one to perform his duties. Characterizing Mr. Hampton's request for an assistant as a "scheme" for "personal gain" is unfair and inaccurate.

Equally unfair is the Journal's accusatory question, "Where is his commitment to hire more local Blacks rather than someone from Sun Valley?" The assistant Mr. Hampton wishes to hire, Zella Knight, is an African-American woman who grew up in Pasadena, graduated from PHS and attended PCC.

Tyron Hampton is a dedicated advocate for African-Americans and all children and families in the PUSD. The "coffee klatches" which the Journal dismisses are important outreach meetings through which Mr. Hampton communicates with parents. I have personally witnessed him sharing words of encouragement and inspiration to students at Muir High School (our mutual alma mater) through the MPYD mentoring program, at Muir's commencement ceremonies and in one-on-one talks with students on campus. He also spearheaded an effort at Muir to improve the quality of food throughout PUSD school cafeterias. Last year, Mr. Hampton personally contacted me seeking to identify African-American Muir students to apply for a scholarship opportunity through the Black (Fire) Chief Officers' Association.




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