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Opinion

Release Findings of Taxpayer Funded Internal School District Investigation


web posted August 11, 2011

OPINION – The Edgefield County School Board and School District Superintendent Mary Crenshaw have failed the students, parents, teachers, and staff at Strom Thurmond High School in addition to every taxpayer in Edgefield County in the controversial situation surrounding former principal Matthew Schilit. A new majority was voted into office in the upheaval elections of 2010 and you promised honesty and transparency and were given control of leading our schools based on those promises, and you have broken them, again.

Supt. Mary Crenshaw refuses to comment as does School Board Chairman Brad Covar and passed off a statement to the press at Tuesday's night's meeting that the matter is in the hands of the Edgefield County Sheriff's Office and SLED and will not say why. 
 
We will deal with that matter later, however; the main matter before the School Board is the outcome of their own internal investigation that led to Schilit being reassigned and then his resignation after seeing the writing on the wall as to his future in the Edgefield County School District. 
 
We all know what was coming. This is a small close knit county where more people are related to each other than not - and families talk, friends talk, and rumors spread faster than a wildfire in Texas.

And so it is with the controversy surrounding Mr. Schilit and his removal as principal. If there was just cause for his removal you owe it to the parents, students, and taxpayers of this county to say why.

The rumors that abound are causing more damage to our school district and the integrity of Strom Thurmond High and the school board than the truth would ever cause. Clearing the air now will allow the stench to drift away sooner rather than let rumors and speculation cause more damage as time passes on a matter that is not going to go away because you refuse to address it.

Tell the people the truth Mr. Covar. You are duly elected to serve the people of this county first and foremost and answer to us, not Dr. Crenshaw.

As to the claim that the investigation is in the hands of Edgefield County Sheriff Dobey, though this is partially true, it is not entirely true and you know it.

Sheriff Dobey has stated he has the information provided by the School District and has reviewed it with his top brass and investigators finding no criminal acts. That was reiterated again on Wednesday by Sheriff's Capitan Chris Wash who stated SLED reviewed the material and found nothing as well. To cover all the bases the information has now been turned over to the Solicitor's Office to review as well and there is no expectation that criminal investigations or even charges are expected.

According to Capt. Wash, "If we don't have a victim we don't have a crime", a line repeated numerous times by investigators and others close to the situation for over a month. So the move to toss the ball in the court of the Sheriff's Office to create a diversion from having to answer the questions required of you is fallacious at best.

We paid for the internal investigation conducted by the school district. It has been concluded. Make its findings available as required under law. 

It was your investigation while it was being conducted, it became ours when it was finished.






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