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In Detroit, They Don't Teach PR in High School
By: Shawn Paul Wood
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No amount of money in the world can numb a sense of entitlement. Put salve on the Benjamins. Freeze a guy's piggy bank. Put the government in charge of it...it wouldn't matter.

If someone is a tool who thinks he owns the world and you just rent it, he will say whatever he feels.

Meet Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Roy Roberts
. Essentially, if Whitney is right and "the children are our future," then this cat is the malcontent time of antiquity.

According to the story from the Detroit Free Press, there is a slight PR kerfuffle emanating from the local public school system. We have a fledgling school district with a $327 million budget shortfall, 10,000 employees (mostly teachers) who are facing 10 percent pay cuts, and teachers who average only $45,000 annually. And there is the martyrdom and the sacrifice of Captain "It's All About Me" who has forced the hand of the beleaguered school system to buy him...just him...a $40,000 SUV to drive around town.

Asked why he won’t use his own car. Roberts, who makes $250,000 a year, told a Free Press reporter that he would if they paid him like they pay other school leaders.

To make things worse, this "necessary" expense came during the same week Roberts laid off many employees. According to this story by the Huffington Post, Roberts ironically cackled to a group of parents, teachers, and students that "the district must find ways to cut back on unnecessary luxuries." Right on, Roy. What's next? Your diatribe on "What this country needs is someone who doesn't talk out of both sides of his ridiculous face"? (Sorry. Google "debt ceiling" for some information there.) Anywho, back to the quote:

"What are the things we need the most?" WXYZ-TV reports Roberts saying. "Which ones are nice, and which can we do without?" District officials argue that the purchase was necessary, as the previous vehicle required substantial maintenance and had accumulated more than 110,000 miles.

In April, layoff notices spread across the district's 5,466 unionized employees, The Huffington Post reported. The district has closed schools and cut 796 staff positions. From this information, I think we can deduce a few other classes not offered as electives in the Detroit Public Schools System outside of public relations: common sense, forthrightness, anti-douchebaggery, and the new AP-class, "Hey Vanna, I'd like to buy a clue."

Keep it classy, Roy. I have that Whitney Houston CD if you would like to borrow it some day.


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About the Author
Shawn Paul Wood is a hack-turned-flack with more than 20 years of collective journalism, copywriting and marketing communications experience. Shawn Paul is founder of Woodworks Communications in Dallas, Texas. If you need him, ping him here or follow him on Twitter @ShawnPaulWood
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