I would like to set the record straight in regard to comments published in The New-Times. The News-Times seems to be constantly pointing out that I have a lawsuit against the Columbia County Board of Education. It constantly overlooks the fact that Superintendent Tommy Price and the current Board of Education broke the law in my termination. It leaves out the fact that there are 70-plus employees along with myself in the lawsuit.
It appears to be more important to paint the School Board as a shining star within the community when in fact they violate labor laws, wage and hours laws and terminate at will with no regard to ... due process.
I respect and agree with almost everything The News-Times prints until it deals with the School Board. Publisher Barry Paschal spends most of his time voicing his opinion, which is not objective since his wife is the principal of Stevens Creek Elementary School. I believe that when it comes to the School Board he should be professional and stay out of it. Protecting his wife's job by not printing all the facts is a disservice to the community and to the employees of the School Board.
As a resident of Columbia County, I know more about the Richmond County Board of Education than I do my own. The reporter who covers the Richmond County Board of Education is very thorough and informs the citizens of where their tax dollars go. The reporter for Columbia County does not inform me of anything.
I know how much legal fees Richmond County has paid; how much has Columbia County paid? How many lawsuits have been filed in the last three years? Are we paying higher insurance premiums because of the lawsuits? How many letters to the attorney general for failing to reply to open records request? What treatment did the employees of the School Board get to warrant a union becoming formed? We will never know. because Paschal defends the board with an iron hand so that his wife's job is safe.
I ran for the School Board District 2 position not because I have a legal axe to grind, but because I wanted to make a difference. ... In his letter to the editor Dec. 3, Lee Clark said Lee Muns supported me. This is just a lie!
Clark does not know me and apparently does not know Muns. The only thing that Muns did was treat me with respect during the campaign, which no one else did, but this is the way Muns treats everyone. I don't know him or his family personally, but I do know he cares about this county and the educational system, including the employees within the system.
Regina Buccufussco says she does not believe in micromanagement. She confuses that word with involvement. She voted to terminate me on Price's recommendation. No facts, no evidence - nothing! She is a rubber stamp just like all the current board members; now they find themselves in a lawsuit. How many lawsuits have the board members cost the taxpayers by not being involved? We will never know because our paper protects them at every turn.
A professional journalist who cannot stay objective should stay away from the School Board and let more objective journalists do the stories that affect our children, our community and reputation. The suit filed against the School Board for hostile work environment and unlawful terminations will be coming to trial soon; I hope someone will be covering it. Also, if you can't be more like Austin Rhodes, who reports all the facts of the School Board, you should not be reporting anything. Leave it to the real journalist.
Sissy Hobbs, Martinez
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