They voted 3-1 to shut the high school in Eastmont Mall immediately. A number of teachers came, but no parents or students. It’s not clear whether the previously scheduled Saturday meeting will still happen.
Harold Pendergrass (far left) was the only board member who wanted to keep the school open, despite the Oakland school district’s charter revocation notice. He said the school needed a more transparent governing board and a full investigation into the allegations of fraud that have surfaced this month.
“There is considerable interest in trying to preserve the school,” Pendergrass said. “People aren’t running away from the school — maybe everyone except the board.”
But soon the discussion — about a decision that would deeply affect some 400 teenagers — devolved into a back-and-forth between Pendergrass and board president Prentice Deadrick about blame, ego and responsibility.
It went something like this:
Deadrick: “You shoulder as much of the blame in the governance inadequacies as any of us sitting up here.”
(Then, seconds later…)
Pendergrass: “I’m probably the only objective person here on this board.”
Deadrick: “Yeah, right, and you’re probably greater than God, too.”
“It hurts. It’s just crazy. I had no idea,” she said.