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The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
March 21, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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March 21, 2018

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March 21, 2018 Page 5A porter .i ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN by Don Daniel BOE loves input: Just fill out a form & wait in line Remember when you were in grammar and even high school, if you needed to go to the bathroom, u had to raise your hand to get permission from e teacher. Well, if you decide to attend a Monroe County Board of Education meeting and you raise your hand to ask a question or even address the board, you will ' ss the be ignored. If you have not applied to speak or addre board, you will be to t ally,!gnored. See, you have to fill out a "request for presentation form which has to be submitted on the Friday prior to the Board's meeting on Tuesday The May I Speak" forms are online at the MCBOE web site or you can go by the office and pick one up. You cannot attend a meet- ing, be spontaneous, be recognized as a school tax-paying citizen and be allowed to speak or address the boar& The BOE BCBD-E2 Descriptor Code states "Citizens visit- hag the Monroe County Board of Education meetings may be recognized by the Chairperson. Those wanting to address the Board shall complete a presentation form. Requests to speak before the Board are to be submitted by the Friday before the meeting in which the individual wants to speak. Speaker may be granted up to five minutes for their presentation". Those applying to speak must answer questions such as: 1.) Is there any supporting documentation? 2.) Are there wit- nesses to be involved in the presentation? and 3.) Have you presented your concerns to school personnel? But submitting the form is no guarantee you will be allowed to say anything or make a comment to the board members. The Descriptor further states, 'After reviewing the presenta- tion form, the Chairperson shall have complete discretion regarding whether or not the presentation will be allowed, and if allowed, when the presentation will occur". On the BOE agenda, there is not an allocation for public in- vited guests for comments as on the agenda for Forsyth City Council. The chairman of the Monroe County Commission asks at the end of their meeting agenda if there is anyone who would like to address the com- missioners. So my advice, don't attend a BOE meeting anticipating you will be recognized, allowed to make a comment or ask a ques- tion. Maybe if you genuflected, bowed and licked their boots, the BOE just might admit,you are in attendance. Obviously our Board of Educa- tion is not a government by the people and for the people. THE EXCUSE from the Mon- roe County Water Department employee as to why no return envelope was included in our water bills, We had to stuff the envelopes with the bills ourselves". Thought we were taxpay- ing a company to handle the billing and bill mailing. THE CORRECT answer to last week's question was submitted seconds apart by Ann Haygood and Judy Wal- dorf identifying Maggie Forrester as the local student who designed the Forsythia Festival log. Both Ann and Judy will each receive a certificate for a Dairy Queen Blizzard, Dozen Dunkin Donuts, Jonah's cookie, Whistle Stop fried green tomato appetizer, a sandwich, drink and chips from The Pickled Okra and Forsyth Main street t-shirt. Here's The Question for this week: According to Terry W. Johnson in last weelds paper, 2018 turkey season begins and closes on what dates? First correct answer after 12 noon on Thursday gets the certificate. BEWARE the "paving gypsies" are out in force wanting to tar and gravel your driveway. According to one who came down my driveway, "we have some left-over tar and gravel from a job and we will give you a special price if you want us to do your driveway". Said he had a county business license but "I don't have it with me" was his excuse. My excuse was a no thank you! HERE are some more questions for you to ponder as I have: Why is it people say they slept like a baby when babies wake up every two hours? Why are you "in" a movie, but you are "on" TV? What disease did cured ham actually have? Why do banks charge a fee on "insufficient funds" when they know there is not enough money? And then this one: ifpeople evolved from apes, why are there still apes? RECEIVED this email and don't know how to respond: "Don, understand your district commissioner is supporting a candidate who doesn't even live in your or his district with a "fundraiser" at River Forest, which also is not in the candi- date's district. My reply: politics creates strange bedfellows! THE VIEW FROM BLACKSHEAR by Robert Williams Robert Williams, co-owner of the Re- porteg, posted this commentary on The Blackshear Times Facebook page after law enforcement investigated alleged threats of a school shooting there, much like happened here in Monroe County. The post was viewed by more than 19,000 people in 24 hours. Okay, parents of Pierce County, its time to get off Facebook for a few minutes, pause and take a deep breath. You are absolutely correct when you say rumors of pos- sible danger to our children should be taken seriously They are. You are also correct when you say you deserve to know the truth about what may be happening and what is being done to address any potential threat. You have been and you will be. School officials and local law enforce- ment work closely on such matters and have done so in recent days and many other times you may not have heard about. Your notification may not have come to you as quickly as rumors, but -- really -- legitimate information never travels as fast as a rumor. These two points cited are pretty much the only reasoned, accurate statements attributed to dozens, if not hundreds, of parents who have been flooding social media the past couple of days after nunors of an alleged plot. to stage a school shooting here. Friends: We are better than this. The level of absurdity and immatu- rity that has been shown in dozens of social media rants is not only dismay- ing, it is downright embarrassing. Dozens of parents have been endlessly repeating unfounded rumors which have only added to unnecessary worry and chaos. An important point to remember: the rumors you hear from a friend, or via social media are just that -- ru- mors. They are not facts. Another point to remember is: You very likely do not know as much inforrriation about the situation as do your school offidals and our law enforce- ment, There is a reason for that: They are trained and giv- en the direct responsibility to deal with such situations. Your Facebook "friend" -- who you may not even know person- ally -- will generally not be someone in a position to know the truth. I've watched in amazement as local parents have wasted their time debat- ing someone from a farawaylocation who chimed in to promote the totally insane notion that 17 children were not killed in Parkland, Florida a few days ago. This nutcase argues that the entire story is a conspiracy involving ALL of the national media outlets and govern- ment. So relax, says this idiot. There's nothing to fear because none of the school shootings ever really happened. And you, Pierce County parents, are wasting time debating this nonsense on social media with a lunatic rather than doing something constructive TAKING A LIKENS TO YOU by Dale Likens STveinCe I know so little about the rnment of Forsyth and ess about our schools, I have ever thought of writing about either. Obviously, the Reporter has many talented writ- ers who cover our local events and happenings extremdy well without my assessment. However, I do find myself quite concemed over the recent articles referring to a certain substitute school teacher who was hired by our county Board of Educa- tion. Because I do not have all the information as to why they hired this young man I only wish to extend my thanks to Wdl Davis for taking such a bold objection to the hiring. My complaint might be better explained ifI simply make it dear that I am completdy in support of Will David backbone to stand firmly against such a decision. In regards to the individu,31" who wrote, in the vent, that she/he attends the same church as Will Davis and she/he 'hopes Wtll Davis feels the eyes'piercing him as he sits in church; is very harsh on Will and those who attend this church, indeed, For a number of months, my wife and I attended the church you are referring to and can honestly say that we know of no one in this church who would fed this hatred toward Wdl Davis. If anything, I suspect they would all respect him for his stance on this issue and praise him for his intestinal fortitude. No man or woman is flee of sin. Someday God will judge us all If the substitute teacher mentioned in these arfides confesses his sin and repents (or turus from his sin), he will be forgiven the same as you and I for our sins. My prayer is that he will Until we are sure, let's be cautious. Will Davis is not con- demning this individual He is not judging this individual. Heis simply being rightfullypmtective of his own children and all other children who may be confronted by such harmful acts, acts that could affect a child for the rest of his/her life in such a harmful way. Last week Janice Moser wrote a column in the Reporter that this sin is easily revisited when surrounded by the same temptations. She goes on to inform us that, "Child molesters are also known for seeking positions in which they can be around children. This is what they do:' Since Janice had worked in the criminal justice system as a Victim Advocate for 15 years, I must give her the credence she so deserves. Since it is young children who stir the imagination of molesters, what better opportunity can he/she be with your energy? Please. We are better than this. There is no end to the lies and lunacy that spread like wildfire on social media. The sad part is that this happens be- cause too many normal, dear-thinking people like many ofyou don't stop to do the very thing you caution your children to do at an early age: Stop. Look. Listen. Stop: don't get swept away Jr/fits of hysteria. Look: Check other trusted, more reliable, sources before you spread information. Listen: we all have a voice inside our heads that begs us not to react too quidd ; to be careful, to use good judgment. Listen to that voice. Local law enforcement has been working around the dock since Monday night when this rumor began circulating. The detective leading the investiga- tion regarding the threats at PCHS has a high school student he sent to school this morning without concern and intends to send that child to school Thursday In fact, the officers in local law enforcement have kids at every school in Pierce County, too. None of us is guaranteed tomorrow. Danger is always a possibility. Fortu- nately, we live in a small community where strangers are few and unstable individuals are, usually, known. Local school offidals and law enforcement are -- every day -- not just when ru- mors abound, doing their best to keep our children safe. Don't continue to let panic or gull- ibility make situations worse. afforded than working in a school envi- ronment? Recently our nation was shaken by an inddent in Florida where 17 innocent children and teachers were murdered by one young man who had gained access to their school. Today we ask, ' Why did the police not .take immediate action? Was there a 'stand-dowff order from the local sheriff?. Why had the FBI not followed the clues they had in eir possession weeks prior to this event? Why were we then, and still, in a state of confusion and anger that nothing had been done to prevent flais incident or to stop the cold- blooded murdering while it continued to take the lives of our young children?" The answer is simple. No one was bold enough to stand up and say NO before it grew into a vial us, brutal act that took the lives of so many lovely chil- dren and shocked a nation so deep . The truth is, W'fll Davis was bold enough to be that one person to stand up and say NO to what he believes could become another serious crises. Reporting the news as it happens is an honorable trait. Reporting a potential di- saster is much more honorable. Perhaps Will Davis should post a sign in his office that reads, as Barry Goldwater used to say when he was nmning for president of the USA, "In their hearts they know I'm fight!" God Bless. Dale Likens is an author who lives in Monroe County. IT IS really sad when our BOE leadership or any dected leaders drag us taxpayers through the kind of community Monroe Countv' congressman Austin Scott (R-Ashburn) held negative newsmaking they are creating. We elected them for their leadership and to be held responsible. We have seen it with our commissioners, city cotmcil and again the board of education, selfishness, egos and lack of voter respect. In the upcoming election we have some contested thrones on the BOE. We have to ask ourselves "do we stay the course" or give somebody else the responsibility to accept responsibil- ity? I remember I was told and taught the following in several leadership courses and classes: it is great when you can take advantage of growth, but when growth takes advantage of you, you have problem. And then there was this one: change is the word a politician fears most. Anywa on May 22 just vote. BELIEVE this one or not: Monroe County Development Authority President B Gregory is taking partial credit for a $510,000 grant for upgrades at the industrial park. He has been working with Encore Plastics to get the grant to upgrade the electricity Now if we could just get another industry to take advantage of the increased electrical capadty in the industrial park or anywhere in Monroe County. Don't put the cart before the horse! Don Daniel founded the Reporter in 1972. Email him at. his constituents in Forsyth (at right) on which was 1.309 days ago. Scott defeated 2010 after Marshall a Town Hall meeting with opportunity to let ]