Are We There Yet?  Almost!

The Hartwell Sun, August 29, 2013, Letter to the Editor

​When I think of our school system, it reminds me of the story which was written by Hans Christian Andersen in 1837 – The Emperor’s New Suit or what many refer to as the Emperor Without AnyClothes. Let me explain my analogy.

​Our school superintendent is like the suit maker and the board is like the emperor. The board never questions the plans that our superintendent weaves; they are susceptible to him - taking what he says on blind faith. The citizens in the story were either unconcerned or intimidated into silence. Only the little boy was not taken in by the suit maker; he was not afraid to speak out and expose the tailor’s misdeed.

How far are the citizens from this in reality? Who is running our school system; could it be the suitmaker? Are we naive and indifferent like the emperor and citizens? What is happening to us, more taxes and a new SPLOST tax? And, they always use the phrase, “it is for the children.” They always use this phrase to pull at our heart strings.

​You really need to take this phrase, “it is for the children,” and ask your leaders in the school system what will the children,gain? You need to get in,touch with the right people, in Atlanta at the State Department of Education,or the Governor’s Office, and find out exactly what a SPLOST tax can be used for before you vote for it.  Citizens of Hart County do not let yourselves be fooled by the suit maker, or we will be like the Emperor - naked as a jaybird.

​We know the school board is not supposed to micro-manage, but you need to read and ask questions. It is inappropriate for the Superintendent to be seated at the center of the table and conducting the meeting. He is supposed to be seated on the side and never speak unless he is asked a question from the Board Members.

​You may say, the chairman of the school board is conducting the meeting. Introducing each topic by reading it off the agenda prepared by the superintendent and then turning the meeting over to him for his explanation, without a real discussion, and then voting is not conducting or realistically participating in the meeting.   In reality, the board members participation, for the most part, has been limited to simply voting yes.  You could call in from home to do this!

​So remember, the child, is the one who made the people realize the emperor was naked. We need to be more like the little boy.  We need to stand up, ask questions, and speak out.  Do not stand by and blindly accept the superintendent’s proposals and explanations, or we too, will be naked - naked from taxation. As one teacher said many years ago, “Everyone should ask questions because there is never a dumb question.”

​Gary J. Vasile