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I certainly respect your opinions and I am very sorry that life has dealt you a hand that has left you bitter and with such a negative view of public education. I feel sure that there are many schools in your district that provide a good education to your community’s children and I also suspect that most of the teachers working in these schools aren’t there for the excellent salaries and gourmet meals. Like I have done for over a quarter of a century, these professionals embrace the challenge to educate whomever enters their classrooms, because they believe as I do – that a free public education is our best defense against illiteracy and the propagation of a welfare state.
That being said, I completely support one’s right to home school or pay for private school. I believe that in a democracy that those who have the means to choose to educate their children elsewhere should be able to exercise that right. However, for more reasons than we have time or space to address here, many parents simply can’t afford other options. That is where we come in – and that is why teachers need the support of strong leadership and well-functioning school boards.
Based on all that I have read regarding the “drama” in your public schools, I really can’t blame you for your negativity, disillusionment, or paranoia. Best wishes to you.
Despite the fact that I am an outsider to this litigious embarrassment in Newton County – I am not a resident, nor do I have any affiliation with the district – I feel that I need to speak up in defense of all of the hardworking educators who have gracefully accepted a proverbial black eye on their profession due to the behaviors of a few.
Let me begin by stating the obvious. Well-trained individuals who enter the realm of school leadership should be well aware of the fact that both statistically and realistically they can’t please everyone. Anyone who believes otherwise is either delusional or overmedicated. And, as adults and professionals, they should be prepared to accept criticism and complaint – whether or not it is well-founded – with dignity and a healthy respect for the opinions of others.
As a twenty-six year veteran of public education, I have had the good fortune of working under and with a number of quality leadership professionals. And, despite their high level of morality and integrity, at some point in their careers every single one of them became under fire by some parent or community member who simply didn’t agree with a policy or decision. Every time there were negative comments lodged publicly -- whether it was at the country club, in the grocery line, or during a Sunday school class – but never do I recall any lawsuits filed or newspaper reports posted. Why? Because everyone knew through the reputations of these professionals that they were honorable individuals and that they didn’t need to defend themselves from the occasional spoiled sport or sore loser.
So, it would appear that there is a problem with the leadership at Alcovy High School. I would have never thought so had I simply run across a series of spiteful blog posts, but when a principal feels that she needs to hire a high-profile attorney to defend her reputation, there are some serious issues beyond the existence of cranky individuals who didn’t get their way. This principal has failed at fostering an honorable reputation within the community, because if she had, none of this would have ever been newsworthy.
The really sad part in all of this is that the hardworking educational professionals of Newton County are the collateral damage. All of the other teachers, administrators, custodians, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and support staff are certainly walking around with their heads down in shame, hoping that no one will mention the humiliating news reports or look critically at them for being a part of an organization that has now been labeled hostile and disorderly.
I do have faith that over time all of this will be forgotten and that everyone can move on with their mission of educating children. Until then, I do hope that those responsible for blackening the eyes of every employee in the school system will have the decency to apologize. Of course, there is always the chance that counsel will advise against it.
Last login: Friday, June 8, 2012