Show appreciation for school board members
Each January, School Board Recognition Month is celebrated by South Carolina's 85 school districts, honoring more than 630 elected and appointed school board members for their untiring dedication to the governing of their schools.
Last month, the school boards of the four York County school districts were collectively recognized by the South Carolina School Boards Association as the 2007 Legislative Advocacy Program of the Year.
The foundation of school leadership is ensuring equal learning opportunities for all students. We are proud of the educational system in York County, and School Board Recognition Month is the time to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of our elected trustees.
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In York County, school board members must develop policies and make tough decisions on complex educational and social issues impacting the entire community. They preserve the core of our democracy -- public education.
The theme of this year's celebration, "School Boards: Leading Voices for Public Schools," reflects our combined commitment to leadership to advocate for support of quality and for accountability for public schools to assure all students achieve.
Too often we neglect to recognize the dedication and hard work of these men and women who represent us. We invite you to recognize and celebrate the work of your school trustees. Write your school board members a thank you note; let them know you appreciate what they do for the students in York County; and ask how you might help support your local neighborhood schools.
Russell W. Booker
York schools superintendent
Clover schools superintendent
Rock Hill schools superintendent
Fort Mill schools superintendent
Check the facts before commenting
Former (thankfully) retired (we wish) editor of The Herald, Terry Plumb, has taken the hypocrisy and arrogance of, in his words, the "damn news media" to new lows as he tries to imply in his Dec. 30 column that only the media goes after truth. He rushes directly into that which he derides, specifically, making statements that have been misquoted so often they have become urban legends. Sort of like lemmings to the sea, one might say -- oops, they don't throw themselves into the ocean. That's an urban legend.
Former Vice President Al Gore is cited as an example of politicians who make false claims in order to gain support. Gore stated, according to Plumb, that he "invented the Internet." While it has been reported time and again that Gore never made that statement, the "damn news media" continue to bring it up as gospel. What Gore said on CNN's Wolf Blitzer "Late Edition" program of March 9, 1999, was this:
"During my service in the United Sates Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country's economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system."
Read it for yourself at www.snopes.com/quotes/internet.htm.
Republicans were quick to change the wording in order to propel George W. Bush to the White House. The wording by Gore might be seen as clumsy or self-serving, but it does not mean he "invented" the Internet, thereby having the patent on the technology. He helped to bring about the use of the Internet by the public. That's what an initiative represents -- support or boosting an idea -- and it takes initiatives on the part of many people to bring an idea or invention to fruition. The "Father of the Internet," Vint Cerf, has repeatedly defended and supported the efforts of Gore as an initiator for technology, particularly the Internet.
In similar fashion, Plumb cavalierly states that Gore attributes the characters of the popular movie, "Love Story" to himself and his wife, Tipper. Even that statement stretches what the "damn news media" had already distorted -- that the character played by actor Ryan O'Neal was patterned after Gore. Apparently, Plumb decided to expand the misconception to include Gore's wife. Guess what, Mr. Plumb? The writer of "Love Story," Erich Segal, corroborated that Al Gore and his Harvard roommate, Tommy Lee Jones, were indeed the models he used in creating that character.
That info is available at www.perkel.com/politics/gore/internet.htm.
If the "damn news media" really did shut up, perhaps some other entity would evolve which could bring back some respect for truth and not the "truthiness" of Stephen Colbert. There are no more Edward R. Murrows or Walter Cronkites around, but couldn't someone be more diligent in getting the facts? It seems more and more that the media are falling into the same pit as Mr. Plumb, and this old quotation seems to fit them to a T: "Arrogance is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity."