Editor, tone down your rhetoric; try equanimity

I have read the letters regarding Sandy Creek High School with interest. May I say that I agree with you that Mr. Presberg responded with passion to a fairly mild negative report by a parent.

And his view that racism was at the heart of the parent’s complaint and your printing of them appears to me to be a far and unfortunate stretch.

However, I ask you to exercise care in responding (as you believe Mr. Presberg did not).

I thought your wording (“raging reaction” and “rabid rebuttal”) to describe Mr. Presberg’s letter were overboard.

It is true as you stated that Mr. Presberg should hear complaints with equanimity. But perhaps Mr. Presberg’s point about discovering facts to support complaints would tempt The Citizen to interview school officials, students and parents as a follow-up to this controversy.

I felt the personal nature of your remarks were unfortunate. You imply that Mr. Presberg “should know better than to expose his progressive worldview for Fayette voters to examine.”

I am less interested in his ideology than whether he does a good job on the Board of Ed.

”Free-thinker” is a derogatory label you ascribed to Mr. Presberg. Do you mean thinking freely is not the way we should think?

In your view Mr. Presberg has done no “thinking here, only knee-jerk reactionary spewing of the progressive party line.”

Sir, I don’t see it after reading the letter again. He condemns racism. You and I didn’t see racism to be the point of the original letter.

If you are upset that he did infer racism, challenge him to show how the complaint letter is racist.

Mr. Presberg seems to want us to understand the reality of inner-city schools so that we can be grateful for our outstanding Fayette County schools. He also seems to want your paper to verify the parent’s complaints objectively.

Your main point, if I read it right, is that Mr. Presberg should “understand the need for a minority opinion to be heard.” So may I ask that you allow Mr. Presberg’s to be heard without (as you wrote passionately) “denigrating those who have another perspective than yours”?

Please, sir, I ask you to moderate the tone and word choice in your writing. Your platform and position as editor is an important one that many people model after and respect.

In this world of strident, polarized language, I wonder if restraint isn’t the most noble quality of all. I realize letters to you may lack restraint, but I look to you to provide it just the same.

Amy Nyman
Peachtree City, Ga.

[The editor replies: Points taken, and appreciated.]

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