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South Bay Digest


October 03, 1985

Inglewood school board member William (Tony) Draper accused other board members of favoring a political ally when they voted last week to grant the woman a rare permit allowing her daughter to attend school outside the district.

Wanda Brown, an unsuccessful candidate for the school board this year, was granted the permit over the objections of school administrators, who had rejected her request last month.

Voting to grant her appeal were board members William Dorn, Caroline Coleman and Ernest Shaw. All supported Brown in her April bid against incumbent Rose Mary Benjamin. Benjamin voted against the transfer request.

Brown, who made her support for dismissal of Supt. Rex Fortune part of her campaign platform, said her political involvement has made enemies for her in the district and said her daughter would suffer "mental trauma" if forced to attend school in Inglewood.

Permits to attend school outside the district generally are granted only in extreme cases, school officials said, because the district loses state funds for every student that transfers out. In the past year, the board has approved 71 transfers for high school students and rejected 336.

"They're just doing favors for their own again," Draper said of the board members who voted for the permit. "We've turned down many appeals where the circumstances were much more extreme than this. No one has provided any evidence that her daughter is being harassed in any way."

During Brown's campaign, Draper accused her of using false addresses to register her children in Westchester schools. Brown acknowledged that her children attended school in Westchester but denied using a false address. She said they were living with an aunt. In the past, Brown has said she believes Inglewood schools to be inferior.

The daughter will attend Beverly Hills High School. Brown's son, near graduation, will continue to attend Westchester High.

Brown and the other board members could not be reached for comment.

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