"I would tell voters that this is a vote for the children," former school board member Luther Edwards of Wilmer-Hutchins ISD would often say. Though Edwards fought the good fight in multiple ways
it is with great sadness and reverence that we must inform you that Edwards has passed. Let us take a look back at a small part of his legacy.
Wilmer-Hutchins Independent School District (WHISD) was established in 1927 as a consolidation of four smaller school districts. Wilmer-Hutchins High School was established in 1928. At the time it had one elementary school for black students that had been built for $2,000, and that school had one teacher.
Over the years the district became a per-dominantly black district with most educators, staff and board members being African-American. It was unfortunately noticed as one of the poorest districts economically but that did not stop board members such as Luther Edwards from serving his community.
Though its accomplishments dwindled over the years many held the district and its beloved leaders in high regard as they worked to actively change negative monikers of poor performance. After a vigorous and aggressive campaign led by the TEA to - The United States Department of Justice approved the districts closure on December 13, 2005. Absorbing the remnants of the district were Dallas ISD, Lancaster ISD, and Plano ISD.
Dianna Wray of the Houston Press stated that WHISD "was almost a mirror image of North Forest Independent School District in both demographics and history". One may note that North Forest ISD another predominantly African-American district was also heavily targeted by the TEA and disbanded.
The work of Luther Edwards should serve as a reminder that we must continue the good fight so that our schools are up to par and that the powers that be continue to see the examples we set in OUR communities.