The editor responds to BoE member Presberg’s letter

Cal Beverly's picture

This response is directed not to his wife and children but to Mr. Presberg, who holds (appointed) public office and should know better than to expose his “progressive” worldview for Fayette voters to examine.

Mr. Presberg essentially makes three points:

1. How dare any student report such negative information about Sandy Creek High School to a parent?

2. How dare the parent write a letter based on that information to a newspaper?

3. And — most egregiously, in Mr. Presberg’s opinion — how dare this newspaper print such a letter?

Mr. Presberg believes that the only (!) reason we did print the letter was “racist” and intended “to divide our community through fear.”

May I suggest some other possible reasons?

First, given Mr. Presberg’s raging reaction, is it any wonder that the parent chose not to disclose either the parent’s or the child’s name (or even gender)?

Second, if Mr. Presberg’s rabid rebuttal is any indication of the reception awaiting any child or parent who dares to criticize school officials, is it any wonder the letter writer opted to try another method of airing the parent’s concerns?

Mr. Presberg is a school board member and has a solemn responsibility to listen to the concerns of his constituents — whether their concerns conform to his ideology or not. He has failed the public in this regard.

Most interesting is Mr. Presberg’s immediate accusation that any such concerns — and the paper’s printing such concerns — can only be caused by racism on the part of the concerned parent, and that our printing of that concern can only be evidence of our desire to “divide.”

This is from a man who supposedly is a “free-thinker.” He doesn’t seem to have done much thinking here, only knee-jerk reactionary spewing of the progressive party line.

Third, Mr. Presberg seems to need a refresher course in what newspapers do and why they do it.

With our existence hanging on the thread of the First Amendment, we newspaper folks seek not just to print the party line and keep from rocking the boat.

We seek also to question the party line, to look skeptically at power-wielding officials, including school officials and officious school board members. From time to time, we seek to give voice to the voiceless.

And if ever there was a voiceless person who dared not to speak to such as Mr. Presberg, it seemed to be this parent.

Mr. Presberg, you call yourself a “Patriot.” Act like one. Respect those who dissent from your party line. You of all people should understand the need for a minority opinion to be heard, even if the crowd desires to shout that voice down, to trample it, to obliterate it.

Now, in your position of power, you denigrate those who have another perspective than yours. You should be ashamed.

Cal Beverly
editor and publisher
The Citizen
Fayetteville, Ga.

ginga1414
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Thanks So Much, Mr. Beverly

for publishing Concerned Parent's letter. Also, thank you for publishing Mr. Presberg's letter.

Both of those letters gave the readers a great deal of insight into what is happening within Fayette County.

skyspy
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Thanks Cal

Thank you for your calm reasonable response to the angry letter written by an angry child. The first amendment lives for a least one more day.

NUK_1
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First Amendment of what?

Cal didn't have to publish the letter from whoever in the first place, nor Presberg's response. This has absolutely nothing to do with the 1st Amendment.

It's a privately-owned newspaper......the 1st Amendment doesn't have any bearing at all on what Cal or anyone else chooses to publish or not.

ginga1414
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Free Speach?

It is extremely troubling to see that some folks have no regard for our right to free speach!

What comes next?

NUK_1
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Maybe learning what free speech means?

What is "free speach?" Seriously?????

The only right to free speech that has ever existed is the right to not be muzzled by the government itself, not private entities.

I didn't see anything about Presberg trying to squelch anyone's rights here....he had a problem with the letter being published by a private entity and explained way. Cal thinks otherwise. Whose rights have been denied here whatsoever?

If Cal had NOT printed Preseberg's rebuttal, would he have been violating Presberg's "free speach" rights in your mind?

ginga1414
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NUK

You are right. I was wrong. The word is spelled s-p-e-e-c-h. I'm so sorry about that. Hope you and your family have a safe Memorial Day weekend.

NUK_1
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You too, Ginga

Enjoy!

askari
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Watch Out Cal,

Expressing logical non-progressive thoughts like that will get you audited by the IRS.

secret squirrel
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That's right, Cal.

Continue to make the news, not just report it. Nothing sells ad space like some "yellow" paper. Frank Mott could devote an entire chapter to The Citizen.

suggarfoot
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I agree with Cal

"First, given Mr. Presberg’s raging reaction, is it any wonder that the parent chose not to disclose either the parent’s or the child’s name (or even gender)?

Second, if Mr. Presberg’s rabid rebuttal is any indication of the reception awaiting any child or parent who dares to criticize school officials, is it any wonder the letter writer opted to try another method of airing the parent’s concerns?"

Presburg isn't opened minded at all. As Cal stated....look at Presberg's raging reaction.

I didn't see racist in what the parent said. What I saw was a parent that felt they would get no help with the problem from the school, and much to my sadness, it looks as though if that parent approached Presburg, he would have tried to shame them into submission rather than do something about the problem.

fayettehuntman
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same old barnyard stuff

Liberals line up and goosestep behind the "professional" educators and liberal school board members and conservatives question why the school board chairman is so irritated at the situation; proving the point that things are not as they want us to think they are. Liberals/progressives always want the right to question anything they don't like, but want the rest of us to shut-up....and they are getting less "tolerant" as they grow in confidence and influence...especially in light of events in Washington and on down....

thinkingisgood
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Faytte County Already has a segreated school system.

Fayette County BOE has been creating a segregated school system over a long period of time. Fayette County High School is majority black and Sandy Creek is Majority Black. Then we have White Water and Sand Creek that are majority white. McIntosh I am not sure but it is the most ethnic mix of any school in the county. Now that that is covered I just read this morning in the Citizen that the BOE sold there empty school for 1/2 price a 10 million dollar building for only 5.7 along with 30 acres of land that they didn't say how much they paid for the land. When you don't have the money to pay teacher you sale a school for much less than it cost then that is not in my opinion being a good manger of the peoples tax money. It will be a long time before I vote for a education splosh to see it thrown away by BOE who is so irresponsible with the peoples money.

fayettehuntman
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thinkingisgood

"Thinking is good" only when there is some degree of intelligence...or thoughtfulness shown ...or at least some pondering taking place...your comments don't fit into those categories...you embarrass yourself and wherever you were supposed to be educated in the English language.

And how the heck has the BOE been "creating" a segregated school system? Did you finish high school in an accredited system? Or do you just spout your nonsense because you are bigoted and full of hate for white folks?

NUK_1
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yes, thinking is good!

You apparently need to do some before posting this illiterate blather.

Didn't know about another HS besides Sandy Creek called Sand Creek that is majority white. I also didn't know that you "sale a school" or that our schools are run by "mangers" or that there's a "splosh" out there proposed.

Good grief.

AtHomeGym
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Nuk & 'thinking is good'

You missed "segreated"!

NUK_1
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Segreated!

Is that when you separate your food into certain different places on the plate and then eat them separately, one by one? Hey, I do that!

S. Lindsey
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suggarfoot....

...agreed. Don't have a dog in the fight...BUT...it's obvious that Mr. Presberg's overreaction is endemic of a problem inside the board. Instead of lashing out he should be more concerned why the Parent(s) feel they cannot take their problems to them.

Seems like a credibility issue to me...

One must also remember "Racist" is the new/old code word for shut up. It's played so often now no one even pays attention..well except for the NAACP or the few race hustlers left out there...

skyspy
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Ahh Lindsey

The pulling of the race card has been turned into an olympic sport in the Atlanta metro area. You have to use it anytime
A) something happens that you don't like....elections( when someone you don't like wins the election), or when security cameras show you breaking the law and the like.
B) it also needs to be used when you are having an irrational temper tantrum, and you want to try to get your own way.

The pulling of the race card makes the user of the race card look irrational, unhinged, and unprofessional. These individuals have been pulling the race card and using it as an excuse for so long that they don't realize how silly and incompetent they look.

Husband and Fat...
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Mr. Lindsey

I saw a lazy parent reacting to hearsay from a child (Possibly with an agenda).

If the parent wants to be taken seriously, they would have marched their backside into the principals office to discuss the matter (adult to adult).

I don't see Mr. Presbergs letter as overreaction at all.

What ever happened to the good ole days when the parents had a backbone and discussed things face to face?

SPQR
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HAF

If you want to see Retaliation spelled with a capital R call out the school board or a top administrator caught being incompetent. BTW the retaliation won't be directed at you but at your kid. Years ago in another metro county I saw the system target a very gifted child. The damage was permanent.

suggarfoot
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I'm sure it wasn't pretty

I've seen similar too.

Husband and Fat...
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SPQR

Why would anyone be scared of retaliation if they are right?

You back someone into a corner, of course they are going to bite (retaliate).

But if one is smart, they have their ducks in a row, and present the facts and ask questions to allow the other person to look like the hero. Dale Carnegie 101.

What I dislike is the person who claims they knew of a crime against a child and turned the other cheek because they were afraid of the consequences of turning them in. Then allegedly the person committed more heinous acts.

Its our duty to protect children and not be afraid of the consequences.

SPQR
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HAF

Bravo. When you're walking point I'll be several clicks behind you. Remember, always do the right thing. And oh yes. be prepared to get out of Dodge on a moments notice.

S. Lindsey
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Then we disagree on what a rant is...

...once you start slinging the "Racist" charge around it is an overreaction.. In your world maybe not.

Oh and btw-In today's World when "parents" meet face to face to "discuss" things...someone usually get's shot or at least has the snot kicked out of them.

So.......... The World as you may know it has changed. Where the heck have you been lately?

suggarfoot
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agreed!

"Racist" ..IS... a new code word for shut up. Again, nothing said about coach taking in out of county kid here. Was that fare to a taxpayers kid who might have played instead of the out of county kid?

I feel if the parent who blogged had been taken seriously, they wouldn't have resorted to the papers.

What is also sad, I saw nothing racist in what the woman said.

MartinLarson
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I also agree with Mr.

I also agree with Mr. Presberg. In my observations at my local schools and at school board meetings he has been very willing to discuss any issue. He has asked for opinions and actually answers emails (unlike two long-time board members). He wasn't trying silence anyone. He was admonishing the creator of this advertisement publication for putting in a letter with no known facts that divided our county. He doesn't appear to be saying that Sandy Creek doesn't have problems. It's a high school, it has problems. So do all the local high schools. Thankfully, all the schools in Fayette County are good schools with some supportive parents. I've heard rumors about all the high schools. Let's let the administrators deal with the problems. Grown men and women sitting behind a nameless comment online remembering problems from years ago are not a solution. The Presberg family wrote a letter that stated they have never seen the problems stated in the letter. How can anyone not think the offensive headline given by the "editors" was not to drum up drama and nasty comments? Duh, that's what this publication does.

bamagrl
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No, Mr. Beverly....you should

No, Mr. Beverly....you should be ashamed. Mr. Presberg was only standing up for what looks to be a direct hit at a school in Fayette County where, I dare say, is very diverse. Good heavens, have we not progressed any further than this? Perhaps we should label the water fountains just so no one is confused. Dissenting from one's party line is one thing, allowing an anonymous coward to spew lies and fabrications is quite another. As for minority opinion-seriously? You really want us to believe that now that this is out there, it is a minority opinion. Sandy Creek is not lily white, it is not full of privileged kids but it is most certainly not an inner city school. I will match our kids on Jenkins road against any kid in the county. I am about sick and tired of hearing it! I can't think of another reason why someone would write such a demeaning letter to be published in the newspaper. It is painfully obvious that the intention of the author was to instill fear and divide. Why else would this be necessary? Wouldn't you just take it to the teacher or the principal? In these times of school closings, teachers and parapros losing their jobs, classrooms of 30 children proposed for next year and people who don't have a clue as to what they are talking about who are trying to take textbooks out of classes...shouldn't we be trying to unite our schools and not tear them apart. I am appalled at what you call "journalism". You disgust me.

TheRealityCheck
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I agree with Mr. Presberg

Just so you dont think all of your readers agree with you Cal - I want you to know that I completely agree with Mr. Presberg's response to the "inner city" article.

He never said a student shouldnt report anything to a parent or that a parent write a letter to the paper. I believe the best place to address the issues described the the author with the issues at Sandy Creek is with the school administrators. I too think it was irresponsible to feed into fears of the community and unfair to the students and teachers at the school.

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