Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Probe Studies Use Of School Personnel

by Thadd White - November 22, 2008 - Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald

Among the accusations leveled at former Bertie County Schools’ Superintendent John Smith is improper use of school personnel.

This is another good News-Herald article about an important issue.

There is no excuse for using school personnel for personal gain. No public official can seriously maintain they were unaware that such action is a crime. It isn't just that John Smith hooked up his private property to the public sewer but that he had school personnel do it for him during normal working hours. Yet Smith's position, even at this late date, is that he did nothing wrong. He ignores the accusation and talks instead about administrative issues of approvals that are not in the public record and therefore do not exist. See details of his response in a related News-Herald article here. I see this response as the height of arrogance and deceit.

What I still find bizarre is how little attention is paid to the fact that during Smith's period of power over our schools, they deteriorated in the quality of the education they provided our children and were already near the bottom in the state. His job, never done, was to fix this serious deficiency. When does Smith apologize for this egregious failure. Even when Smith is held accountable for accusations of personally profiting from his public power, when and who will hold him accountable for the failure of his public duties? Didn't our children deserve better?

A related News-Herald story indicates the Bertie County Sheriff opens investigation into these matters. Better late than never.


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