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Schools superintendent flap unites transparency seekers

By   /   February 8, 2010  /   Comments

So, a funny thing happened on the way to hiring a new Dougherty County School System superintendent. The School Board managed to unite two television stations and the largest local news paper on one single issue and get their butts named defendant in a lawsuit.

Go them.

The first amendment, specifically the part about freedom of the press, serves to keep government accountable to the people. The modern media, which includes the newspapers that our Founding Fathers were well aware but also includes blogs and television among other things, fill that role to this day.

So, government often looks at them as “the enemy” to some extent. Yes, the modern press has its own biases, usually based on the biases of the journalists in question, so it’s not always the enemy it once was. But every now and then, there’s something that government knows the media can’t and won’t ignore, so they try and hide it. Every now and then, government is just ignorant and hides something without thinking about the media. Whatever the case is this time, the School Board screwed up.

Their own attorney has stated there was more than one finalist, but that the Board decided to just release the name of just Joshua Murfree. One name, allegedly in violation of the state’s open records act. Not a good thing. The outrage surrounding Murfree’s naming comes from many places. It comes from many places within the same person sometimes. But almost all could have been avoided if proper procedure had been followed.

So now the School Board is getting sued. I’m sure they’ll claim the media outlets are wasting taxpayer dollars and try to paint them as the bad guys, but it’s a load of crap. The School Board made this decision. They are the ones who allegedly defied state law when making their selection. They now have to live with the consequences of their actions. Those consequences include at least one lawsuit and I’ve heard mention of a recall movement.

This is the wrong era to pull that crap in. This is a time when people are tired of their government rolling over them. This is a time when people are more likely to be activists for their cause than ever before. This is a time when the governmental bodies that pull this crap will get called to the carpet for what they’ve done. 

In this case, they have been. And I can’t help but think that it’s only the beginning.

tomknightonWritten by Tom Knighton. Read his blog at SWGA Politics.com.

A lifelong political junkie, Tom started out his adult life as a journalism major at Darton College before leaving school to serve his nation as a U.S. Navy Corpsman.

Through the years, he has watched government from outside and inside. A former Reagan supporter, then later a Democrat, Tom now finds himself quite comfortable as a card carrying Libertarian and all around smart-elec.

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