Peoria Public Radio News
5:50 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Racially charged issues resonate in PSD 150 conflict

Peoria Pastor Harvey Burnett is speaking out against the actions he’s attributing to the group called Change 150. Burnett says the movement to oust the District 150 Superintendent and school board has sparked intimidating and threatening behavior he attributes to those he calls the ‘white elite.’ Burnett says that includes an inappropriate editorial cartoon, blue ribbons placed on the Superintendent’s lawn and threatening phone calls.

“Shame on the Mayor for jumping on the band wagon with such a poor record directed toward Peoria’s black community. Shame on Jim Powell of Change 150 for creating such an abusive atmosphere that citizens what to stop the business of education at any cost simply to serve the needs and requirements of the white power elite in Peoria,” Burnett says.

The Pastor says the type of disrespect being leveled against Lathan and her team is tantamount to racism.

“As a community Peoria citizens of all races cannot idly stand by while we experience the extension of pre-Jim Crow era style tactics simply dressed up in new clothes,” Burnett says.

Change 150 successfully launched a campaign effort against the sole school board member on the ballot during last week’s election.  A statement from Change 150 President Jim Powell says the group remains firmly committed to its core values outlined on its self named website. The NAACP also supports Change 150.