The editor responds to BoE member Presberg’s letter

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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.