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Ousted Warren County trio should just go away

Just. Go. Away.

The actions of the three recently ousted members of the Warren County Board of Education ought to be encapsulated as an example of sour grapes.

In fact, encapsulating those three members might not be a bad idea. That would keep them away from the school board, where they no longer have any business -- official or otherwise.

When Clara Roberts, Cecil Brown and Charles Culver popped into Monday night's meeting, a choreographed move if there ever was one, they knew they weren't supposed to be there.

Just days earlier, Gov. Sonny Perdue had accepted the recommendations of an administrative law judge and booted the three from the board. There was not a single person in Warren County who did not know they had been removed.

Roberts, Brown and Culver certainly knew they'd been ousted, in one of the rare times a Georgia governor has used his authority to remove an elected official.

So when the three arrived at the meeting, they had to know they weren't going to be allowed to sit at the grownups' table with Chairwoman Gwendolyn Tucker, Vice-Chairman Randy Morris and Superintendent Carole Jean Carey.

Hooray for Tucker for putting them in their place by telling them to have a seat in the audience, especially when ejecting them from the room would have been entirely justified.

As it is, Perdue did Warren County -- and, especially, Warren County's children -- a tremendous service by ejecting Roberts, Brown and Culver from the school board.

From my perspective, as a longtime friend and admirer of Carey and the work she did here in Columbia County and in the past decade in Warren County, it has been absolute agony seeing these three selectively misanthropic racists try to destroy the school system just as it was reaching new levels of achievement.

And why, exactly? What on earth could the gang of three have hoped to accomplish? Running the few remaining white children and staff members out of the system? Chasing away business and industry from the county? Dooming all public school children to tainted, subpar educations in an unaccredited school system with discredited leadership?

Carey is practically a candidate for sainthood for not only having withstood all this, but for having stood by the Warren County school system and help it to overcome this entirely unnecessary hurdle.

Lest anyone forget, she could have retired months ago and, like the disciples of old, wiped the dust of Warren County off her feet.

That, however, would have left the community in the grip of Roberts, Brown and Culver, and the clueless enablers who brought them to power.

It is to the everlasting credit of Carey that she persevered through this latest challenge and, at least preliminarily, has won. It also is a credit to Gov. Perdue that he did the right thing in removing the gang of three.

The next step is now in the hands of Tucker and Morris, who have the weighty job of choosing the successors of the three ousted members. While they could certainly do no worse by randomly choosing names from the phone book -- or even from the membership directory of the local loony-bin -- they clearly are taking their responsibility seriously.

It's time for Roberts, Brown and Culver to get the similarly serious message they've been sent: Don't go away mad; just go away.

(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times.)

Web posted on Thursday, August 12, 2010

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