Apr 24, 2010
HENRY COUNTY, GA -- Out of jail and doing community service, Clifford "T.I." Harris made a trip to Woodland Middle School in Henry County on March 5, an unwanted surprise for one family.
Tom Myers was surprised when his daughter came home and told him that T.I. had been the speaker at the assembly on anti bullying. Myers told 11Alive News that had he known T.I. was speaking, he would not have allowed his daughter to attend. So he wrote an e-mail to Woodland's principal, Dr. Terry Oatts.
"The first e-mail I sent to him was to ask that from now on we have some kind of parental input whether or not a speaker is appropriate. If I don't want my child to be there, just give me the right to opt them out," Myers said.
Myers also wrote in the e-mail, "How about next time, let him mow the grass or pick up the trash around the school grounds? If the kids see that they might understand that what he did was wrong."
In e-mails obtained by 11Alive News, Oatts replied in his e-mail, "I thought about asking a guy who snorted cocaine and got arrested for DUI when he was 30 to come and speak to our kids, but President George W. Bush was not available."
Oatts went on to write in the exchanges with Myers that even the president made mistakes when he was young, and that T.I.'s messages to the students was 'to take their education seriously, put forth their best effort, pursue their dreams and not engage in bullying.'
But the bottom line, to Tom and Candi Myers, is that they didn't want their daughter to be at that assembly. School officials say parents were notified of the assembly but that T.I. was a surprise guest.
Myers admits T.I. encouraged the kids to study and work hard, but he's not convinced.
"T.I.'s an actor and he can sit down and act with the best of them. He's an entertainer. That's what he does," Myers said.