One Step forward, two steps back….Rick Barton

It’s not that the Robeson County school system doesn’t need help- it does. It’s not that the school board members don’t have a right to choose a superintendent -they do. It’s not that Ben Chavis doesn’t have a clue. He does. Usually. It’s not that the newly hired superintendent isn’t qualified. We’re not sure. We have no information on his credentials just yet.

The issue is why go behind closed doors to make decisions that affect our county in such a large way. Is this a violation of NC meeting of Public Bodies law? What about the NC Board of Education rules for conducting public business? What about the Robeson County Board of Education rules for conducting meetings? Have any of these been broken? The attorneys will have to answer those.

Everyone involved in this situation will agree the education of our children is the most important issue. Yet, it seems we have returned to an 1865 mentality where decisions are made for the masses because the masses can’t make decisions for themselves. If you want to get rid of the superintendent do so openly with full transparency. If you want to hire a new superintendent do so openly with full transparency. Why would you not complete an exhaustive search and get the best candidate to lead the educators who will shape the minds of our future, our children?

Saying it was OK to fire Tommy Lowry because of the way he was hired is publicly admitting that two wrongs make a right. That is ridiculous! All members of the school board should follow a moral compass that is higher than that of a first grader.

Publicly referring to an educator with 30 years of service as a loser was uncalled for, unacceptable and quite frankly wrong. Especially, coming from someone who has made a career outside of Robeson County and may not understand the intricacies of Robinson politics. Is this a case of sour grapes or is this just a continuation of the divide and conquer policy as it applies to Native Americans of Robeson County. Ben Chavis has not been elected to any position, especially the Robeson County Board of Education. While I appreciate his desire to make things better, I do not believe he single handedly is the answer to the education problem in Robeson County. I don’t believe there is one single person who can fix this. It must be a group effort.

The school board is going to buy out Mr. Lowry’s contract for what is reported to be $180,000 a year. Do the math! That’s $270,000. This is coming at a time when school supplies are nonexistent, textbooks are missing and there is a shortage of teachers because of money.

The board members who voted in favor of this will all tell you that it was legal because they had the votes. Legal is not always right. At one time it was legal to own slaves in our county. Legal but not morally right. Why all the cloak and dagger nonsense. Everyone on the board ran and was publicly elected to their position. Why then are they crawling around in the dark? Represent your district and your constituents in the light. Stand up for what you believe in. The Robeson county board members who voted in secret to bring about this change are a poor example of leadership, political gamesmanship and doing the right thing. As elected leaders in our counting there should never be, not even the slightest hint of impropriety regarding your actions. You were elected, you were chosen because your constituents believe that you will do the right thing, the right way every time. Hiring anyone for any position without going through a legitimate hiring process is not the right thing. Ever.
Is this about Quality education? Or is this another political football? Is this a way to make sure the new Board of Education is not constructed at ComTech?

You may have hired an excellent superintendent. We will never know. His effectiveness and ability to get the job done has been compromised by your behind scenes shenanigans to get him hired.

#politicsasusual, #Divideandconquer, #keepcountybusinessoutofpembroke, #Keepthepublicinthedark, #lifeinrobco, #Rulesdontapplytous.

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