King Randall watched the system fail hundreds of thousands of students, saw promises to improve amount to nothing, and so decided to start his own school, The X for Boys. It began as a summer program to teach and mentor young men who have been caught up in the justice system. As media attention grew and the students that Randall mentored achieved wild academic success, he determined to buy a building and begin a full-time private school for these children—children in foster homes, from jails, on the streets.
After 7 months of negotiations, the local district finally sent him a contract. They would sell him a building for $500 million dollars if, and only if, the “core educational services are provided by the Dougherty County School System,” according to the contract. It’s essential to note that the building Randall is trying to obtain is set for demolition; it will be destroyed either way.
In other words, the district—the system that already failed these young men—will only sell him this building if Randall adheres and commits to the system. The district wants him to use the teachers and curriculum that had already let these students down. In an interview with Fox, Randall said that ““They would get funding for the students coming to our school and we can’t teach what we want to teach,” describing it as “paying them for us to handcuff us to them.”
Randall reiterated that he is working with “children that have been molested, that have been sexually abused, that have been starved at home. These children don’t have anywhere to sleep.” He is trying to provide a service and the entrenched powers are keeping him from doing so.
The superintendent defended his decision saying that McDonalds wouldn’t donate anything to Burger King, and that is the crux of the issue. This district is more interested in shielding itself from competition and protecting the powers that be than giving the community a fair choice.
Our country is reckoning with the racism from its past, with its failure to black communities, with its continued racial disparities. Advocates protest. Social media influencers throw around slogans. All resonate as sound and fury.
King Randall is in the community, building institutions, doing work to help individuals, and the district has blocked him. This is a shame and his story deserves to be told far and wide. The Chalkboard Review has interviewed Randall previously to spread his name as far as we could and we stand behind him still.