ATLANTA -- There's a certain "shock factor" that comes from seeing Superintendent Erroll Davis, leader of Atlanta Public Schools, depicted in what appears to be a KKK robe.
And that's exactly what the creator, Nathaniel Dyer, intended.
On the flyer, Davis appears to hold a large pencil marked with "No. 00 white schools closed."The title reads: "They erased answers. I erase Black schools."
The flyer includes pictures of the Atlanta School Board. Davis is African-American, as are seven of the nine school board members.
Dyer said he designed the flyers to protest what he believes is a racially motivated redistricting plan. Ten schools are slated for closing pending a school board vote on April 10th.
"Someone has to speak up," Dyer said.
For the past week, Dyer has been distributing the flyers at various locations around Atlanta, including APS headquarters and public meetings to address school closures.
Thursday, the flyers made their way to a meeting to save D.H. Stanton Elementary School, to the displeasure of parents in the Peoplestown community.
"Our neighborhood leaders have been working together so long and so hard to put together an actionable plan for Stanton," said Kevin Lynch, president of Peoplestown Neighborhood Association.
He calls the flyer counterproductive and says people in the neighborhood do not believe race has anything to do with the district's decision.
"No one in the neighborhood or the D.H. Stanton community had anything to do with the flyers that were distributed," he said.
11Alive News reported that the flyer came from parents upset about the districting changes affecting Stanton. Since airing the report, parents in the community have been frustrated -- at the real people who made and distributed the flyer, and at 11Alive News for associating the flyer with the parents in the Peoplestown community, when, in fact, it was another group that was responsible for distributing the flyer.
Parents and community members in the Peoplestown neighborhood worked together to create a 12-page proposal outlining ways to improve D.H. Stanton Elementary School.
RELATED |Read the parents' document
Meanwhile, Dyer says it was never his intent to offend anyone with the flyer. He says he took full ownership by printing his name at the bottom.
APS spokesman Keith Bromery said the district has no comment on the flyers, but issued this statement in an email to 11Alive:
"The district's demographics/redistricting process is race neutral and based mainly on individual school capacity and enrollment data. The overall purpose of the superintendent's redistricting proposal is to reduce the number of severely under-enrolled schools by closing 10 of them and re-boundering students from those schools into neighboring schools to bring their enrollments up to near capacity so that these schools will be eligible for more resources aimed at improving student performance. Race is not a factor in this process."
D.H. Stanton and Towns Elementary were both added the closing list released just before midnight last Saturday. Law requires two public hearings before a school closing. The first was Thursday night at both schools. The second will be Monday at 6:30 p.m.
The board is scheduled to vote Tuesday, April 10th.