Lawrence Mayor, Superintendent to Protest Stokes at Tonight’s School Committee Meeting

Asks Community to stand with our Veterans


by Wilfredo Laboy, posted 1/10/08


Lawrence Superintendent Wilfredo Laboy
Lawrence Superintendent Wilfredo Laboy

During a period in which the City of Lawrence and the Lawrence Public Schools have made significant steps towards ongoing improvement, we are saddened and outraged by such morally and ethically unacceptable conduct by James Stokes.

 In November’s School Committee elections, Mr. Stokes asked for thecommunity to place their trust in him. In return, he has concealed his two jail sentences for larceny and forgery, and has disrespected the honor of our Veterans by allegedly making false claims about serving in U.S. Marine Corps for twenty years. We find his actions to be deplorable and we urge the community to condemn these offenses by demanding that swift action is taken against Mr. Stokes.

 Following his arrest Wednesday morning, we believe that Mr. Stokesshould step down from his role on the School Committee before his criminal investigation becomes a further distraction from the academic and achievement goals of our community.

 As a sign of protest and in solidarity against Mr. Stokes’ further participation in the School Committee, I plan to, along with the Mayor, to walkout during Thursday night’s School Committee meeting. Our community must hold Mr. Stokes accountable, and we all must reach for a higher standard of moral, ethical, and educational standing than to disregard his actions. We cannot and will not sanction conduct that is “unbecoming” an elected official and more so a member of our School Committee and our LPS community.

 ~Superintendent of School Wilfredo Laboy