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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Parents decry school redistricting plan

Proposed new lines would split lifelong friends and classmates

(The Stokes News) -
A standing room only crowd filled the West Stokes Media Center on Monday night at the May meeting of the Stokes County Board of Education. As expected, the matter of redistricting brought people out to express their feelings on perhaps the most controversial issue in Stokes County right now. This was the third in a series of meetings designed to bring the school board to the community by going to local schools rather than the usual venue in Danbury.


Anonymous Jack said...

I certainly hope Granite City Development, Craig Hunter specifically, past and present leaders of our local government that are associated with the real-estate industry hear what you're saying. These are the people that are responsible for our
present-day problems. Keep electing them into office and expect more of the same. Do you really believe shopping centers and housing developments come without additional costs... water? sewer? police protection? new schools? Think of that nice little shopping center they gave you as a present in the Mount Olive area.

Land developers could care less about the additional costs! Oh yes, Oh yes, Oh yes. There are those who have big plans for the King area in the future. Beware! Objects in the mirror are closer than you think.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 2:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Concerned Teacher said...

To me separating friends is not a make or break issue when it comes to redrawing these lines> this is not just a west / stokes south stokes issue. The middle school in King as well as Mount Olive are overcrowded. Overcrowded schools mean larger class sizes which in turn creates a wide array of issues. It is harder for a teacher to give each student the separate instruction and attention that they need. The more kids you have in a class the more chance there is for problems. Shouldn't our number one concern as parents be that our children are receiving the best instruction they can and that they are in a good learning environment? Statistics show that smaller class sizes learn better. Some of these people need to come to one of the King schools during classes and see how many students are in each room. I know that my smallest class is 32. As a teacher and a parent I want my children to be in a smaller class so that they can receive more one on one instruction if it is needed. If these lines are not redrawn the will be pods set on the West campus. Which creates security issues. There are already pods at Mount Olive. As a taxpaying citizen I know I don't want my child to have to have class in a pod. These are all issues that some people need to really look at instead of kids being separated from their friends. There are so many more issues but I have typed enough.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 2:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Proud NOT to be a resident of King said...

Rock bottom property values... crime & violence... Suicide? Are you kidding me? You're implying that a King kid would commit suicide if he/she had to go to South Stokes instead of West Stokes? What an ignorant and totally outrageous comment!!

The redistricting plan is meant to redirect students from West Stokes to South Stokes - not to downtown LA! The comments you people have made are a reflection of just how ignorant and condescending King people really are. Stop your whining and the holier than thou attitude and be realistic. Something has to be done about the unbalanced student populations at West & South.

Comments like those above, especially the I'd "like to see South Stokes improve with the student base they have now before they begin moving others in", are so idiotic that its almost not even worth the effort to comment. However, I just can't let such disparaging remarks go. No wonder one would question the camaraderie between our children when their parent exhibits such a disdain toward South Stokes. SHAME ON YOU. Get over yourself - living in King doesn't make you all that!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 3:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anne said...


Pay close attention to what Jack has written. Simply raising taxes will not alleviate the problems we have with classroom size and overcrowding. Insulting each other will not carry us very far as well. What will work is to understand who the real enemy is. That enemy includes land developers and real estate agents. They have done it in Surry County and surrounding counties. They have a complete disregard for the additional costs incurred by their shopping centers and housing developments and how the development affects the infrastructure of a small county like Stokes.

If you really want to do something constructive, think long term. Do the following:

Number one - The next time you vote, KNOW your candidates.

Number two - If they are associated with land development or the real estate industry, don't vote for them.

We did not arrive at present day problems overnight nor will we resolve these problems overnight,

Again, read very carefully what Jack has written. The people who Jack refers to are self-serving and could care less about your concerns. Don't be fooled about their intentions now or in the future. They will not go away until you, the voting public, send them away. Make a difference when you vote.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 4:03:00 PM  
Anonymous King Resident said...

Hey, Proud NOT to be a King Resident...... As for your rebuttal of suicide, Crime & Violence and Rock bottom housing prices, Some people can be a little over the top. Passion about one's kid is human nature and they will pull out all the stops to try to get people's attention. I too think some comments that were made were just plain dumb , but think about it and don't lump a few people in King with the rest of the population. I certainly don't do that with Walnut Cove and Lawsonville. Your envy and disdain for the people of West Stokes/King is just oozing from every pore. I certainly don't think of you representing the rest of the population of the Northern and Southern parts of Stokes County, but then again you may very well......I just don't see it. I think it's high time you actually got over yourself. The hatred for the people of King is very evident. God Bless you. I see it in athletics all the time. The people and kids of West Stokes receive more positive comments from the parents and kids from Surry County than they do from Stokes County and that my friend is sad. This county should stick together and improve both educationally and athletically as a group, but from what I've seen over the last 9 years it is sickening what I have witnesses from some of the schools of Stokes County. Sports rivalry is one thing, but the education of these children is another. I have been involved in sports my entire life, either playing or coaching and I have never seen the pure envy and hatred that I witness here in Stokes County anywhere else I have been. It's sad and you are one example. I for one root for all of these kids and when they are not playing each other in any sport, I am a Stokes county resident and I wish nothing but the best for all these kids. I may live in King but I am a Stokes County sports fan. Try it sometime you may actually like it. Jealousy looks horrible on you.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 9:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Tom said...

First of all, let's face the fact that a failed economic and infrastructure county is in no one's best interests. No one, except the bad guys. Failed long-term plans, such as those in Stokes and Surry Counties, become nothing more than breeding grounds for land developer-ruled, opportunists. They become training grounds and hiding grounds of self-serving ideological users to take what is rightfully yours. That is, an affordable property tax rate, schools that teach rather than baby-sit children, political parties that represent an ideology rather than a real estate office or an auctioneering service. Where is it carved in granite that we should have property taxes that subsidize the short-comings of land developers? These failed counties have become bastions of lawlessness and suffering, as the rule of law becomes intimidation, and everybody without knowing someone or being in the proper circles becomes the victims.

Infrastructure improvement programs can consist of upgrading waste-water treatment facilities, water delivery infrastructure, electricity, water services to surrounding communities, drilling new wells, replacing meters, building pipelines, repairing dilapidated roads, building new highways to speed up the flow of traffic, building new schools, etc...

Who are these people to decide when, if any, money should be spent for the above mentioned? Who are these land developers, auctioneers and real estate people?


When it comes to leveraging an economic opportunity, timing is everything. They understand this all so well.

Be informed, wise and above all else, truthful.

It is in your hands… the voting public.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger Steve Brenneis said...

While the comments on real estate agents and land developers are spot on, the real issue is that the members of the LEA (aka school board) are cowards. They will, of course couch their cowardice in terms of listening to the people, but that is just so much spin.

The current districts are a result of the cowardice of the board that was in place when West Stokes was built. All those folks who live near King, and who would normally deny any association with King, suddenly were acting like they lived downtown. They wanted their little munchkins to go to the shiny new lily white high school. I personally witnessed one parent threatening a school board member with political extinction if he made her little darling go to poopy old South Stokes.

I remember reading a report from the school superintendent stating that West Stokes would be at capacity within two to three years of building it. Yes, the real estate types and developers are the economic equivalent of rapists, but the fact remains that if you keep electing stupid, cowardly people to the school board, you will keep getting, as shocking as it may seem, stupid and cowardly decisions.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 2:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Jack said...

Yes, there are those in Surry County that are using sports to achieve their agenda. And they are associated with land development. One individual took it as far as to start attending church here in King. He lives on the other side of Mt. Airy but drives here to attend Church… Hmmmmm. It gets better. This same individual in cooperation with a few others decided to start their own newspaper. In Surry County it is distributed to your front yard Monday - Friday, whether you want it or not. This “newspaper” has plenty of local sports and family activity stories. But the main draw is the editorial section. In other words… a political propaganda tool.

Don’t be surprised when we get our version of the same here in Stokes County. Perhaps they could call it the “Stokes Messenger”.

Folks, fight among yourselves if you like but these people are very good at creating social and economic divisiveness.

So, go ahead and get bent out of shape over this sports issue. You will be the next victim.
Listed below are just a few of the tactics used by the people I mentioned above.

Starting arguments.
Spreading gossip.
Creating cliques.
Carrying grudges.
Deliberately undermining those in authority.
Pitting one person off against another.
Setting up rules in order to create social barriers.
Being a racist or sexist or elitist.
Giving orders and demanding obedience.
Using principles (or even 'righteous' anger) as an excuse to cut off contact.
Personalizing a political dispute.
Raising the stakes in disputes.
Having an 'I win, you lose' attitude.
Acting without concern about how it affects others.

"Remember the horror from which we come. Never forget the greatness of a nation that has overcome its division. Let us never descend into destructive divisiveness."

And people wonder why children in countries such as Japan, Germany and China are jumping years ahead of us academically!

Thursday, May 29, 2008 11:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Message for "Proud NOT to be a resident of King" said...

I agree with the comments made by another reader - Jealousy looks bad on you.

You appear to be taking offense because some folks don't want their kids going to South Stokes (must be your assigned school). How would you feel if your kids were among a small group of kids suddenly sent to West Stokes or North Stokes in a similar situation? I suspect you would not be jumping for joy. You can agree with the comments made at the school board meeting or not (where were you?), but many of the FACTS are based on statistics available on the NC School Report Card web site. People are passionate where their children are concerned. I am sorry if you feel like you are so oppressed by "King people". What have you done to change that? Oh, I see - you have thrown the first stone...........

Thursday, May 29, 2008 1:20:00 PM  

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