I take exception to Liz Brody's June 23 "Close-Up" article on Mr. Fred, the truant officer. Brody stated that he has "made education his mission" and "keeps in touch with teachers." Nothing could be further from the truth.
This past school year, Markham Junior High School has had numerous gang riots when Mr. Fred left the gate open, allowing any bored miscreant to stroll right in. And whenever Mr. Fred does walk our campus, he's usually bearing trinkets that he gives away. This creates a circus-type atmosphere with kids rushing out of class.
Since Mr. Fred only answers to the school board and the superintendent, he's free to roam our campus and others, writing unauthorized tardy excuses and keeping the kids who really need to learn out of class.
Making publicity his mission and keeping in touch with politicians and the media are more what this one-man organization is about. As long as the press and the politicians downtown continue to buy his story about those "poor little black children in the ghetto," he'll continue to walk and wear out his welcome on our campus.
MARKHAM JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL