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Letter to the Editor

Organizers say Petition signers names to be held in confidence

web posted June 1, 2009
Dear Editor,
The on-line Petition to Terminate Crenshaw’s Contract has been secured so that anyone - teachers, staff, board members, whoever, can sign the petition with absolute confidentiality, unless of course the signer tells someone they signed it.  As of May 29, 2009 at 1223 hours, the site has been changed to no longer allow the viewing of signatures by any signatory except one person.  The signature database has been secured and will not be released to anyone outside of a court order.

Signers of the petition will receive an e-mail with a link that must be clicked on to validate the e-mail address.  Once the e-mail has been validated, you will be thanked for your signature, and no further action is required.  You can, however, log onto the website, www.firecrenshaw.com and monitor how many signatures have been obtained.

The on-line Petition to terminate Crenshaw’s Contract is not a legally binding petition in that, the School Board has to vote on the termination of the contract.  And as we have witnessed, that probably will not happen given the make-up of the Board and the solidarity they have shown, regardless if an issue impacts our schools, or the safety and welfare of our children, or the quality of education.  In their eyes, they have consolidated power for their own purposes and not the stated claim of doing it for the children.

However, we as a community can show solidarity as well.  By signing the petition we are sending a message to the Board and ALL elected officials, that we are absolutely sick and tired of their self serving ways, and that WE will stand together to change whatever office needs to be changed.  We must remember that there is an election cycle in 2010 and three of the Board members are up for re-election-Viola Jackson, Mary Alice Jackson, and Andy Livingston.  We need to send them a crystal clear message - through signing the petition, we will stand up, and if they choose not to serve the people, we will send them to the unemployment line.

Now some may think, well this isn’t going to work.  It won’t if we do not consolidate as a general public.  Further, others will argue that Viola Jackson and Mary Alice Jackson’s positions are secure by virtue of the chicanery employed by Bibbs to get the districts re-mapped to give them a minority majority. (Again, another display of manipulating the system to win because one cannot win based on their merit.)   The premise we can’t make a change because they have it locked up at the ballot box is simply not true. That is what elections and democracy is all about, choosing one’s destiny in the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness through peaceful means.  It will work, you just have to stand up, be counted, and vote!

Additionally, we also must look at another political option, one in which is being very seriously considered and pursued - and that is a voter recall.  The arrogance, and even ignorance, of some of the Board members, convincing themselves they are untouchable and have free reign to do as they please, is somewhat musing to say the least.  They sit in front of the public, pompous and arrogant, flaunting and exercising their meager holdings of power in pursuit of self-enrichment while hurting all children and destroying the very fabric of our society through the implementation of their own warped agendas and greed.  If we as the public, voice very loudly, our directives, we can change the dynamics of the Board as well. 

Certain members of the Board and District may base our desires for change as “racist” or “bigotry”, but once again, they are victims of their very own ignorance.  We don’t really care what the make up of the Board is, but we do care who is corrupt, and what elected official(s) is serving one’s self instead of serving the people.  If Bibbs, Cooks, and Crenshaw want to say we are “racist” because we want to rid our school system of corruption, then they may have a difficult time in explaining one very recurring fact – in Merriwether, we take our public servants seriously.  And as soon as we determine the elected official is no longer serving the people, but serving themselves, we get rid of them. 

Just ask Hazel Kitchens, County Council-self serving-GONE!; Danny Bishop, County Council-self-serving-GONE!;  Joel Hudson, County Council-non-serving-GONE!;  and Scott Chitty, School Board-self-serving-GONE!   Appears “race” wasn’t the deciding factor in ridding ourselves of these elected officials.

This is going to be a long, arduous, and possibly protracted effort, but we must remain vigilant and provide support to those who are carrying the water.  Although some disagree with the methods, we must understand, to fight against possible corruption, abuse of power, malfeasance, incompetence, and ignorance, one must use the same robust tactics employed by the opposition.  We must be clear, concise, and unwavering in our effort.  And we must stand united in our efforts.

Jim Jackson

Editor's note: Mr. Jackson is one of the founding members of Edgefield County Citizen Taskforce Against Corruption in Education

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