Families & the Community News in Brief

1st Black Male Parent to Head National PTA

By Karla Scoon Reid — July 09, 2013 1 min read

Otha Thornton, the newly installed president of the National PTA, wants to lead a more inclusive PTA, an organization sometimes stereotyped as catering to suburban moms.

Mr. Thornton, 45, became the first African-American man to head the National PTA last month. In an interview last month, he said that the organization’s membership must become more diverse as it advocates on behalf of the nation’s children.

During the recent selection process for members at the national level, Mr. Thornton emphasized that the organization’s leaders needed to reflect the country’s ethnic and racial diversity. Last year, he noted that of the 1,087 state PTA board members, only 47 were Hispanic.

A retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, Mr. Thornton plans to provide members with a clear vision and a disciplined message as they advocate for their children’s education.

A version of this article appeared in the July 11, 2013 edition of Education Week as 1st Black Male Parent To Head National PTA

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