It is amazing! The amount of positive feedback expressed to PNN about it’s stand against the sad and sometimes brutal treatment of our children from transplanted coaches has been no surprise. People see these coaches, who have no real vested interest in our future, come and go and we are none the better when they leave. Truthfully, many of our children are deeply scarred from their memory. There is a reason why many of these transients left their own homes to come to SC for less pay and although we certainly like it, PNN speculates that it wasn’t for the water.
PNN was not completely surprised to learn that Stewart County frustration and anger goes much deeper than just coaching.
To those of us NOT from Stewart County, you may not completely understand the tightness of our families. How many of you SC natives, RIGHT NOW, can reel off scores of family names that we ALL recognize? Nearly ALL Stewart Countians can do this. Its because we know more about our County’s history than we may realize. In most cases, we can even name the part of the County that these families originated from. Bumpus Mills. Big Rock. Indian Mound. Standing Rock. Dover. Cumberland City. Tip Top. Red Top. Model. Tharpe. Leatherwood. Sweetheart Springs. Carlisle. Most of these “here today/gone tomorrow” Coaches would be lost if placed in some of these areas. Those of us who have lived here all of our lives and plan on dying here could find our way home from any one of these County localities even in the deep, dark, dead of the night. And it is my guess, that before we got too far along, we would come across a neighbor that we knew who would take us directly to our doorstep and accept NO pay, whatsoever, for doing so. Why? Because they understand that we would do the same for them. This is the structure and the fabric that is Stewart County.
As Stewart Countians, we were secluded from the rest of the world, by nature, for the first 125-150 years of our existence. We didn’t mind that at all. We became 100% self sufficient. We created our own shelters, pig iron, we cultivated our own food and dairy, our own tobacco, our own clothes, and even our own whiskey, if we so chose. We were deeply religious and protective of one another and we preferred this independence. We are a tight knit group of people and we would fight one another like family but if an outsider came in to challenge us we would all band together to protect our heritage and our history. This has not changed.
Above all else, we are protective of our future, our children. We will fight for them. Even those of you in the school system understand this. Unfortunately, many of you fight for your children more than you do for all the others under your care. At home, this is fine. In your professional capacity, not so much.
PNN fights for ALL Stewart County children no matter the color, the creed, or the socioeconomic strata that you may fall into. If you are SC, you are equal, in PNN’s book. Unfortunately, this is NOT what we see in Stewart County today. Stewart County has become a County of the “haves” and the “have nots”. This really came into existence in the 1980’s but it explodes in our faces today, in the 21st Century.
This is what PNN seeks to change. This is the issue that PNN will force; That all students are treated fairly and all positions are awarded based on merit and efficiency and not blood ties or political pressure. It is a phenomena that occurs every day throughout this Country. PNN can’t worry about the Country, only Stewart County. If WE, as a people take care of our County then the Country will begin to take care of itself.
Some examples of the supportive comments PNN hears daily, follow:
“I used to say these things a long time ago but I was beating my head against a wall. I couldn’t reach out and get enough people together to make a difference and force them to change. I didn’t have a way. The Stewart Houston Times never helped. They just printed what they were told. Maybe, with PNN, you can make a difference.” Signed: Someone who always cared.
“All these things should have been said a long time ago. I wish we could get this out for everyone to see so the School Board and administrators would have to be held accountable and speak about these things. They won’t and the reason why? They think that because they have a teaching degree they are above everyone. Not all think like this but many do. If you don’t believe that just talk to some of the Principals and administrators. They think the people of Stewart Co. are so simple minded that they can feed you a line of bull crap and tell you its steak. Well, for them, what goes around comes around. Be watchful and you will see that there is too much wrong with this system for it to continue the course its on. The bad thing is when it goes down it will be another black eye for Stewart Co. and that is what stinks. I do not support this school “system” at all. Maybe new leadership will make the difference. I SURE HOPE SO!” Signed: Stewart County Born and Raised.
“Damn, Robin, you sure do stir up a LOT of ****! But I’m glad you do. We need more people to say what is on their mind and we would be a lot better off for it. If people would have spoken up years ago we could have gotten a lot of this stuff fixed. Our County is messed up.” Signed: River Boat Man.
I could go on and on, folks. When people begin to understand that PNN speaks for ALL Stewart County children and ALL Stewart County citizens, young or old, they begin to agree that we do have a problem within our School system.
The Football Field was put where the parking lot was supposed to go and the parking lot where the Football Field was supposed to be. Someone flipped the blueprints! Really? These are our educators, our administrators, and our leaders, right? How else can you explain steps leading up to the front of the School from behind the Stadium? These steps were supposed to be leading up from a parking lot full of cars where students could enter the FRONT of the School (like ALL other Schools in this Country). The steps leading to our school are now kept behind a locked gate in the back of the Football Stadium Press Box!
The Baseball Field will not drain properly because $50,000 to make it do so was cut from it’s budget. It will take twice that to repair it, IF we are lucky. We have monies to fix moronic mistakes like that but not enough to hire better Coaches and more Teachers? We have money to waste because we didn’t measure twice and cut once but none for updated computer classrooms?
Maybe the football field “switch” was also related to a budgetary drainage cost? PNN can hear it now…”These architects and engineers don’t know what they are talking about!”
Mediocrity abounds and flourishes in our Stewart County school system but don’t you DARE say anything about it! It will hurt the children.
We are looking to Leta Gray to be the Iron Lady of Stewart County now. She is brand new and it will take time for her to make worthwhile change. That time starts TODAY! Work from your Stewart County heart, Miss Leta, and you can’t go wrong.
PNN will give her the EXACT same advice it gave so long ago to Superintendent Anita Hawkins. In the grand scheme of things, you have 8 seconds to ride this bull. Give it your best shot!
PNN understands that the picture of the Stewart County School Board members above is outdated. This picture represents the SC School Board that brought us to where we are today. A picture of our PRESENT Stewart County School Board would show Ms. Leta Gray as the Director of Schools and a new representative for Mr. Sexton, who is retiring (as we understand it). All in all, 6 of the 8 pictured remain and they control our Stewart County school system’s destiny. The Director of Schools works directly for these 7. Good luck, Miss Leta.