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McDuffie County High School?

I often wonder if anyone stopped to ask the question, "Why is the only high school in McDuffie County named after the city it is closest to?"

How accurate is it for McDuffie County to have one high school and it be named Thomson High? It's not fair at all to the people (like me) who grew up in Dearing. We're still part of McDuffie County, just like those in Raysville, Happy Valley, Boneville and even Wrightsboro. (Let me add that I am a graduate of Thomson High.)

But the simple fact is the rest of the county gets tossed aside when it comes to most things. Just think of the organizations here: the Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce, the Thomson-McDuffie Recreation Department.

Thomson always comes first, and I think that's inappropriate. No matter what it is, if it's for the whole county, the word Thomson should be omitted. Sorry Thomsonites, the numbers don't lie.

According to the 2000 census, the population of McDuffie County is 21,231. The population of Thomson is 6,828. That means there are 14,403 people within McDuffie County outside the city limits of Thomson.

Thomsonites are outnumbered by more than 2 to 1. If that is so, why is the rest of the county still catering to the needs of the big city? I don't understand.

If logic won out, we would all be cheering for the McDuffie County High School Bulldogs on Friday nights in the Brickyard. Don't fuss at me if you disagree. Take it up with nearly every other county in the state that has one high school.

There's only one high school in Lincoln County, and it's not Lincolnton High School. There's only one in Warren County, and it ain't Warrenton High. What about Screven County High and Lanier County High where we just got a new principal and superintendent, respectively?

Even our neighbor to the north doesn't call their high school completely by the name of the city. The county is thrown in for good measure too. It's Washington-Wilkes High, not Washington High.

The McDuffie County School System had an opportunity to help heal this wound when the middle school moved from Norris to the old high school building. But they blew it.

They could have named the school McDuffie Middle, which is fair to everyone, those outside Thomson and those within. Plus the alliteration with the M's sounds divine. But it never happened, and we are stuck with another school named after a city where less than one third of its students actually live.

I know there is some history behind it, that it's not all a conspiracy against the rest of the county. There were other high schools here in the past. For example, my grandfather graduated from Dearing High School in 1940. There also used to be an R.L. Norris High School.

Those aren't here anymore. And I think as soon as the next-to-last high school in McDuffie County closed its doors, Thomson High should have changed its name.

Yeah, I know it's never going to happen, but I had to give it a shot.

Web posted on Thursday, June 3, 2004

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