Static: Wednesday, March 13, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Signs of a Cover-Up

Racial controversy is as common as congested roads and fake boobs in Dallas, where African-American community leaders recently urged city officials to remove “Whites Only” signs at the county records building. The signs, etched in marble above water fountains during segregation, were later covered by metal. Regardless, some people want the signs removed. Fort Worth, too, had its share of segregated water fountains in public buildings, although old-timers couldn’t recall any that remain, under cover. However, just north of downtown is a building that may harbor a much more sinister reminder of its past.

People associate the brick building at 1012 N. Main St. with Ellis Pecan Co., but it was the Ku Klux Klan that constructed the building in 1924 and held events there until the organization became more “underground.” The building was sold in 1931, used as a warehouse, then sold again to Ellis Pecan in 1946. Many locals have heard for years that the KKK insignia is etched in concrete above the front door, covered by a long, rectangular Ellis Pecan sign, which remains affixed even though the company vacated the building in 1999. Static made numerous calls to historians and businesspeople but could find no definitive answer. The mystery might soon be solved, however. The building sits in a prime redevelopment area, making it likely that it will eventually be bought and converted, and the metal sign removed to reveal ... what?

Making Parents Loco

In loco parentis is not a new concept. But after nearly two dozen non-English-speaking parents spent a frantic night searching for their children who didn’t come home from William James Middle School two weeks ago, State Rep. Lon Burnam thinks the school district needs to sign up its folks for a crash course in Latin.

In February, 20 kids, all under 14 and all Hispanic, were rounded up on campus and taken to juvenile detention after a school cop saw them “jump” a young girl and thought: “gang initiation.” Trouble was, the school failed to call the parents to tell them where their kids were. “I am furious,” Burnam told Static last week, after spending an hour, he said, “explaining to some clueless board members that the schools were responsible, by law, for notifying these families as to where their kids were. The state family code mandates that schools contact parents whenever anything goes wrong with their children.” The trustees’ excuse? The school couldn’t find the parents.

“What?” Burnam said. “No addresses? If this had been a bunch of Anglo kids, guess how long it would have taken the district to find their folks.”


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