Rev. Godair's letter
August 9th, 2011
Please allow me a few moments of your time. The comments I’m about to make, I promise you, are not directed toward any individual with any intent to bring harm or to embarrass.
Approximately 18 months ago, I was given a tour of the Rowan Salisbury Schools Administrative Office on Long Street. It just blew my mind to think that professional people had to work in that setting. Every day since that time I have been a supporter of a new Central Office no matter where it’s located as long as all the details make sense. As much as I’m in favor of those folks having good working conditions, I am also in favor of our children having a good, clean, safe working environment.
With the recent revelation of the filth, roaches and rat feces at Knox Middle School, I think we all would have to agree that we have a problem. This is not counting the lack of paint, wet carpet, “mix matched” furniture, etc.
Knox isn’t the only school with issues. Back in the winter, my wife and I attended a basketball game at Salisbury High School. During the game, she needed to go to the restroom. When she returned, she asked if we could leave. When I asked why, she stated that it was because the restrooms were so filthy and nasty, and there where no toilet lids, etc.
How can we invite folks to our schools when they’re in this kind of condition? Better yet, how can we expect our children to use these facilities?
Who is in charge of these facilities? Someone needs to be held accountable for the condition of these schools. Something may be old but it does not have to be filthy and nasty.
When meeting privately with Gene Miller when the School Board was looking at Cornerstone Campus, he shared with me that he had about one million dollars in a fund that the County Commissioners knew about. He went on to say that he had another $750,000 set aside that they did not know about.
Maybe our schools are in the shape they are in because all of the money is being placed in secret accounts instead of being spent on the schools.
I want to see a new Central Office, but before it ever comes to the table, I believe the citizens would feel better if these two things could be done:
1) Form a committee consisting of educators, elected officials, parents and the Salisbury Post. Visit every school in Rowan County and give the citizens a report. If it needs cleaning, let’s clean it. If it needs painting, let’s paint it. If it has bugs, let’s spray it. There are numerous churches and community groups lined up to help. This community can get it done.
2) Hire an outside audit firm that has no ties to the local government or the School Board to give the citizens an unbiased report of the school’s finances. If there is $1,750,000 in secret accounts, how do we know that there is not more? We may owe the County Commissioners an apology for all the grief we gave them concerning funding our schools.
Once these two things are done and everything is in order, I will be the first one to sign on for a new Central Office because it is needed.
From what I have read in the Salisbury Post, Dr. Davis & Joy Jenkins are two of the finest educators in Rowan County. Dr. Davis, Principal of the Year, and Mrs. Jenkins, Former Teacher of the Year. We aregoing to watch very carefully. If there are any repercussions against these two fine educators, I will personally call for hundreds to join me in the streets to protest.
If it’s all about the children, then I’m asking all citizens, school personnel and elected officials to join me in this endeavor.
Thank you for your time.