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STH Pressure Cooker About to Blow Up

A Column by the Editor
web posted July 28, 2011

COLUMN – Some elected and appointed officials underestimate the public's views, concerns, and in some cases their intellect. The formal announcement of the removal of Matthew Schilit as Principal at Strom Thurmond has reverberated far beyond the walls of the halls of the school. Reader comments repeatedly say "everybody knew" what was allegedly taking place and the School District and the School Board is doing their dead-set best to put a lid on the boiling pot.

This creates a pressure cooker and if the lid is not removed or the contents released it will blow up in their face. That is what is about to take place.

Though I have confirmed that some allegations over the past years have turned out to be true, it seems that the School Board and the District is looking for a way to call the episodes, yes plural, a "personnel matter".

To School Superintendent Mary Crenshaw and School Board Chairman Brad Covar; let me know how well that works out for you.

The entire local media pool is awash with information coming from sources in and out of the school and the district including parents, students, and teachers. We are getting the truth, just not from those who are supposed to give it to us on the record.

Moreover, it has become an even bigger issue because so many people knew and yet nothing was ever done. And by saying so many knew, that includes the school board and the district office all the way up to Dr. Crenshaw.

The announcement of an obviously long overdue investigation is already egg on the face of those who continued to allow the situation go unchecked for so long and grow the way it did.

The real question is, who knew what and when?

Is it or is it not a fact that complaints have been registered for over two years from various sources? Is it or is it not fact that Superintendent Crenshaw "looked into" the matter in the past and evidently found nothing? Is it or is it not fact that the real investigation has culminated in some of the accusations being proven?

It is evident that some accusations are not being investigated. Is that a "we don't want to know" the truth in those matters because a bad situation would just get worse?

The situation at Strom Thurmond and the School District is far worse than the public knows and it actually goes beyond any one person.

The ultimate responsibility lies at the feet of the School Board, Chairman Brad Covar, and Superintendent Mary Crenshaw. It is time to open the pot and acknowledge what has been stewing for so long. 

Allowing it to sit covered and ferment will just make the unpleasant smell grow worse when the lid is eventually lifted by the public, the media, or the school district. The "See no evil, Hear no evil, and Speak no evil" mantra is growing old.

It seems at least one school board member is willing to make a public stand in the very near future while the rest dive for cover under the rocks they apparently want to live under.

That seems to be the difference between a "politician" and a "public servant". Perhaps we need more of the former looking after those who look after our children forced by law to attend their schools.

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