Alarmed about School Board
The mischaracterization of what happened at the School Board needs to be addressed. The author of a Nov. 23 letter claims that the tradition of vice chair becoming chair was "upended" in 2018 when Leanetta McNealy did not accept the nomination for chair.
McNealy supported Rob Hyatt serving as chair that year, saying he had done a tremendous job in the past. We can hardly reward her integrity and selflessness by blaming her for "upending" the tradition and using it to excuse what is happening now.
The following year, McNealy was passed over for the chair position. Voluntarily stepping aside for a year shouldn't have disqualified her from filling the position the following year. It should have made her an even stronger candidate. Tina Certain nominated her, and rightly so. However, the author criticizes Certain, saying she "challenged the collegial custom" of filling the chair position with the vice chair.
The letter points out that some devalue the newest board member and that Hyatt has asked those people to refrain from using the designations "elected" and "appointed." This difference should bother everyone. If we don't have a voice in who sits on our School Board, we are not a democracy.
If Hyatt does, indeed, have a "commitment to teamwork, respect, and addressing the beliefs and priorities of the community," he can start by listening to the many community members who are alarmed by what's happening.
Rachel La Combe, Gainesville
The wisdom of children
Two recent Sun pieces convince me that our young people have more wisdom than the Republican leadership when it comes to COVID and ways to battle it.
A couple of weeks ago the paper interviewed students from Gainesville High School about mask requirements. Those interviewed, while acknowledging mask wearing was inconvenient and becoming tiresome, understood and supported the need to continue doing so for the greater communal good.
The second instance was the photo of the youngster with a radiant smile and a thumbs up after getting his first vaccination. The child’s mother, a nurse, had endured a long, perilous hospitalization after contracting COVID before vaccines were available.
It’s unfortunate the governor and the rest of the children masquerading as adults in the Republican legislature are not as wise as these young people.
Wisdom from the mouths of children, irresponsible pandering from the mouths of Republicans.
Greg McGann, Gainesville
CNN explained the difference between malice murder (implying intention) and felony murder (reactionary, not intended): "Malice murder means that the jury determined that Travis McMichael intended to kill Ahmaud Arbery, and he did ... "
That is surely inaccurate. He never did think of killing, before or during. He thought of intimidating, making a Black man cower, teaching him a lesson. He thought about the experience of power, how he'd gain respect and superiority. He thought about becoming a hero. He thought about the fun of using a gun to bully and scare a man.
But I doubt he contemplated killing. That just happened as a byproduct, because that's what guns do. McMichael didn't think beyond knee-jerk, shallow reactions.
If you go around wielding a golf club, pretty quickly you'll practice teeing off. If you have an umbrella, you'll open it when it rains. If you carry a gun, you'll use it when scared.
Why do we refuse to recognize this truth? Why do people so badly need personal killing machines? Isn't that the real problem we should be addressing?
Mary Ruth, Gainesville
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This article originally appeared on The Gainesville Sun: Gainesville letters to the editor for Nov. 30, 2021