Just a Year After Graduating From Garland ISD, He Wants to Help Run the School District

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Just eight months ago, Lawrence Billy Jones III was a senior at Garland High School. He's a UNT freshman now, double-majoring in political science and criminal justice. He just turned 19. And for reasons we really can't figure, he's running for office.

Specifically, he's gunning for a seat on the Garland Independent School District board, and he either truly thinks he can reform the district's education system or can really sell it. Either way, the kid's got a future in politics.

Jones says he would be the youngest elected official in the history of Dallas County. (The DeSoto school board president is 22). "I don't know if you've seen my resume," he says over the phone, with the confident drawl of a seasoned candidate, "but I've been in politics for a while."

Jones has amassed an impressive resume over the course of his short life. He heads a junior justice advocacy group, has already served in Garland ISD as a student advocate and was named a Texas Junior Senator.

You would think it would be enough, then, to ride the wave of plaudits through college, to lure sorority girls with First Lady promises, to drown in kegs of Natty six days a week before venturing off to law school.

Not Jones. "The community cried to me, and I heard their cry," he says, every syllable oozing the righteous conviction of a youth minister (he did that too).

Jones got inspired by Barack Obama's 2008 run for office, when Obama "made it so the young people's voice actually counted." Jones has been working toward the U.S. presidency ever since. For him, politics are a calling.

"When you wake up in the morning knowing what you want to do, I think that changes the entire adventure," he says. "I wake up in the morning know what I want to do. I wake up in the morning thinking about politics."

A homegrown Garland boy, he speaks from firsthand experience when he says that on a national scale, Texas schools are behind on a lot of things, and that he knows what it'll take to improve the school district.

"To be a top school district, I think we have to address some issues." He outlines these issues in his YouTube campaign ad. Jones says Garland students need to have fundamentals such as reading and arithmetic under their belt before they even hit grade school, and that the district is in need of math and science reform that would stop teachers from teaching to standardized tests and would allow students to keep pace with China and India. He also argues for reasonable salaries for teachers.

Hey: More money and more learning. Not a bad plan. But will he win?

"We're looking real good," he says. By we, he means his campaign team, a group of about a dozen adult volunteers headed by his octogenarian campaign manager Ed Jackson. "I'm the only person out here shaking hands, going to events." The incumbent trustee, Keith Montgomery, hasn't announced his plans for reelection.

Even if Montgomery doesn't run, and the 19-year-old wins by default, Jones insists the campaign won't stop. "I still want people to voice their opinion and tell me what they need. There has to be some kind of transparency in our government today, and I think that's what we're lacking right now."

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9 comments
Dbrooks9
Dbrooks9

At first I discounted Mr. Jones run for the Board. Then I did several things:

1. I reviewed where we ARE as a school district and where we must be to become competitive.2. I reviewed the impact that really assertive teens and young people can make (game changers). Historically, I saw that many were inventors, creators, military leaders, mathematicians, etc. I did not look at Pres. Obama.  I looked much farther back and then looked at the present age.3. I asked myself.... why not? If what we have is not working and what we could have COULD work... why not?

Allin
Allin

From what I understand, Mr. Jones was paid money by GISD within the past 2 years, which would disqualify him from legally being elected to the school board, per GISD policy.  He might be a great leader, but needs to make sure he's eligible before spending any more money on his campaign.

NONE
NONE

slow down, champ!  get some actual maturity and experience. just graduating from HS doesn't grant anything but a certificate....you got a LONG way to do to understand anything beyond how a cell phone works, what is on the internet, and how to wear a blue suit and white shirt.

glad he is interested in SERVICE....but make sure he has something REAL rather than IMAGINED to bring to the party.....school board membership is serious stuff.....

Joyce Foreman
Joyce Foreman

I am glad to see young men like Lawrence running for office.  I wish him the best of luck and hope that he continues to want to serve the community.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Good luck to him.  He should move to a 'regular" city,and proceed with life.  He can make a difference! As for Garland, it's a stinky dump, and we should give it back to Louisiana. 

AskTheMexican
AskTheMexican

I hope this young fellow accomplishes his dreams. May his morals remain in good faith, and do well for his community.

Bob Jackson
Bob Jackson

Yes, he is able to run I checked policy! I would encourage you to read the legislation before you decide to make a pupils post.

furrpiece
furrpiece

It's great that this young man is interested in public service, and obviously in politics.

While he's clearly not yet ready to sit on a school board and make complicated decisions for homeowners and business people at that level, he's certainly more than ready to embrace life and follow his dreams. 

My guess is that he'll graduate from college, work a few years, learn about the impact of taxation on homeowners, and make one of the best school board members in whatever community is fortunate enough to have him as a citizen.

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