Gerry Monroe, community activist and executive director of United Urban Alumni Association, caused a stir at Thursday night’s Houston Independent School District meeting when he accused the board members of being money-hungry and uninterested in the welfare of HISD schoolchildren.
“Won’t you give them people their money?” Monroe said, as if repeating what others have said to him criticizing school board members’ and school administrators’ salaries.
“Need some money? Need some money? Need some money? DO YOU NEED SOME MONEY?!” Monroe continued. “Because everything is money-driven around this place! You don’t care about those kids!”
Then he turned and walked away.
Wanda Adams, president of the HISD Board of Education, mocked Monroe’s actions, saying, “So, we’re going to get the 3 dollars that Mr. Monroe left behind and donate it to Madison High School.”
As the crowd laughed, Adams continued, “He just made it rain ... nah, I’m just joking. OK, kids, close your ears, close your ears.”
Adams then went on to say that fun and laughter are important during these difficult times.
Monroe, who frequently makes appearances at HISD board meetings, is currently campaigning to be trustee of HISD’s District 9. According to Houston Justice’s Durrel Douglas, Monroe is a “consistent challenger of school closings and advocate for district improvements [who] points to disparities in funding, corruption in the awarding of contracts, and accessibility.”
Monroe was also instrumental in exposing rampant grade-fixing at Houston’s Westbury High School in 2015, KTRK-TV reports.
The Aug. 10 HISD board-meeting agenda does not make clear which issue Monroe was referencing when he angrily asked the board, “Do you need some money?” Nor have the meeting minutes been posted. KTRK-TV reported only that Monroe was criticizing “the way decisions are made.”
The Root has reached out to Monroe for comment and will update this story with his response.