School boards should be elected

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 24, 2007

To the Editor:

I agree that the school board should be elected. Elected officials are more accountable to their constituents. Citizens’ needs are best met by voting for whom they want to represent them. I am not alone in this opinion. Several other members feel the same.

It would also lessen the pressure on the board from council members who seek to influence votes. These tactics, as well as yelling in our faces and screaming threats, did not impress us. Nor do the threats that “the council put us on the board, and the council will take us off.”

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We voted our consciences. Our vote was not capricious, or vicious. Contrary to what some may feel, all of us, including Dr. Carter, have the education and well being of the students in the Selma City Schools as our primary concern. Neither Dr. Carter, nor the Board, may discuss exactly what went on in executive session. It is against the law. Therefore, when people ask any of us “why,” we must answer that they may talk to our attorney. We are not “keeping secrets.” We are doing what is required of us by law.

Unfortunately, if there were someone to blame for what has transpired, it would be those who spread malicious gossip as truth. There had never been a secret vote. We may never have voted, except for the fact that people, believing in, spreading and embellishing gossip, created some worrisome situations in the schools.

I think perhaps we might all want to refresh our knowledge of the meaning of, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” It includes gossiping, yet gossip seems to be the major pastime in Selma.

Gossip has caused murders, wars, divorces, loss of jobs and the end of friendships. It has brought down governments, and caused harm to the economy when Wall Street is affected.

Gossip provokes suicides when people cannot face the lies spread about them. Gossip has divided Selma in so many ways. The community will never come together until they learn that bearing false witness was included in the Ten Commandments because God felt it was important to prevent us from harming each other with lies and half truths. If God thought it was important, shouldn’t we?

Barbara Hiouas