DALLAS -- The furor over Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Mike Miles' reforms has only intensified since the board of trustees voted to fire two principals and almost 300 teachers at its regular board meeting Thursday night.

This weekend, a group of people opposed to that decision plan to confront Miles in a very sacred place -- a church where he'll be speaking.

"Actually, I've never protested at a church before in my life," said Joyce Foreman.

Instead, as a life-long resident of South Dallas who's committed to community activism, Foreman said she learned everything she knows about organizing protests inside the church.

"In fact, right down the street here is Mount Olive Lutheran Church, where in the 60's I was among people who went there to get ready for protests and to understand protests," she said.

In the black community, there's a link between churches and activism, and that's why Foreman said it's an appropriate place to confront DISD Superintendent Mike Miles about his policies.

Miles is an invited speaker at True Lee Baptist Church Sunday morning, where Foreman and dozens of other people plan to protest his visit. They plan to arrive at the church, located at 3905 Bertrand Avenue at 10 a.m. Foreman said protesters don t plan to try and stop Miles from speaking, but they will ask him questions, if allowed.

True Lee s pastor Donald Parish was out of town Friday night and not available for comment.

Foreman organized another protest outside Madison High school last week over Miles principal-evaluation plan, which required principals at under-performing schools show improvement or face dismissal. Thursday night, the board of trustees voted not to renew the contracts of two principals and nearly 300 teachers.

One of the fired principals is believed to be Madison s principal, Marian Willard, according to Dallas NAACP Chapter President Juanita Wallace.

"There's a lot of disappointment in what happened, but there is some sweet victory also that the list was only two principals," Foreman said.

Ahead of the vote, Miles faced intense public criticism.

In April, Dallas Country Commissioner John Wiley Price sent scathing letters to more than 75 pastors asking them not listen to Miles' speeches, but a letter from the Dallas Chamber and Citizens council endorsed Miles last week.

This weekend at least, church may not be a place of peace for superintendent Miles.


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