Board just said no

Published 2:12 pm Friday, May 14, 2010

We often tell our children (especially our young ladies) to work hard, prepare yourself and when the opportunity arises you will be ready to seize the moment.

We tell them we live in an unbiased society, continually trying to give them hope.

However a decision recently made by the Decatur County Board of Education dashed all those hopes and dreams.

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Once again, we must face the reality of the situation; women do not stand on equal footing with their male counterpart.

The choice to completely ignore the talent and experience of two local applicants for the position of school superintendent is inexcusable. Not to be named a finalist or even have one vote of dissent paints a picture that will resonate in the mind of our young ladies and current employees for years to come. This is not a knock on the finalist who seems well qualified and will probably do an exemplary job, simply because the ground work for success has been established.

The current finalist was given an opportunity despite having only one year of experience in the classroom. All these candidates were just asking for an opportunity to show that their investment in educating themselves, working tirelessly, investing in the community and most of all dedicating themselves to the school system through all the good and sometime bad days would one day pay off.

The board said for all your preparation your reward is “not yet.”

If not now, then when?

Until we change the landscape of the current board we may never see this change.

Is it possible to change their mindset, only God knows?

We often wonder why our young leave and never return, the answer is clear, they seek the land of opportunity and it is clearly not here, according to Dr. { Sydney} Cochran in announcing their finalist.

When nominated and seconded, Mr. { Fred} Rayfield was voted upon unanimously by the other board members, thus the message was loud and clear “we must stay in our comfort zone” even if we have to ignore or dismiss the talent of people who have given the greatest part of their career to the students and citizens of Decatur County.

If ever asked to speak at a civic or school function, what will our board members say to our students?

“Study hard, stay in school and when the opportunity comes, get out of dodge.”

And to our teachers, principals and administrators, “You have reached the pinnacle of your career, and opportunities await for you on the other side of the rainbow, just not this side.”

One other note, when you see these candidates, please let them know how much you have appreciated their service through the years. However, be sure to let them know now is not your time; let them know what it takes to be a school superintendent in Decatur County. If you let them know, hopefully they will pass it on, and maybe, just maybe, the next generation will have a chance to ascend to the top.

Kristen McNairBainbridge, Ga.