Updated: Aug 10, 2020
Retaliation seems to be the name of the game these days. We see Donald Trump send Michael Cohen back to jail when he fears Cohen will release a book about him. His fixer decided to think for himself and Trump can’t take it. That decision was overturned in court and Cohen is now a free man again.
We saw something similar if you watched the hilariously comic -- yet sad at the same time -- Hanover Board of Supervisors meeting held on July 22.
In a tribute to the past, we heard the daughter of Jack Ward say something similar to this isn’t her father’s Hanover, and in those exact words so did Canova Peterson.
Would we want this to be the Hanover of their fathers? Both men would be in their late 80s, 90s or older and that would represent a segregated Hanover.
Mr. Peterson spoke of bullies, that our school board was bullied into their decision.
The bullies appeared to be this board of supervisors as they threatened school board members and Dr. Michael Gill [superintendent of Hanover County Public Schools] with rethinking their decisions.
After a glowing review for Dr. Gill just a month previously, all of a sudden he has fallen out of their good graces simply by removing the names of the schools more quickly than they thought he should. Some people even called for his resignation. That, sir, is bullying! If people don’t think as you do, your solution is to get rid of them.
Throughout the meeting you could hear, you didn’t vote as I told you to vote and therefore you were wrong. Why do we need a school board if they are just told what to do by the board of supervisors?
Once again, people outside of Hanover reviewed the recorded meeting and wondered what century that meeting took place. This, sir, is where the lack of leadership exists.
Leadership is inclusive of dissenting opinion so that we can come to great decisions. It is not the parroting of one to another.
I wish to thank the four members of the school board for getting into “good trouble” as the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis would say.
I am grateful to Mr. Bob Hundley, Mrs. Ola Hawkins, Mr. Sterling Daniel and Mrs. Kelly Evko for doing the right thing for all students and the future economic growth of this county.
Perhaps people won’t mind sending their students to these two schools now and we can turn around our declining school enrollment.
It was clear when the board of supervisors spoke whose schools they thought the two schools belonged to. It was clear when they stated “our county” whose county they feel Hanover belongs to the rest of us pay taxes like you do and we should be represented as well. They are our schools and our county as well. My family has been in this county as long as most of yours have been and my service and the service of other members of our family to our schools is comparable to any of yours.
I actually heard someone almost in tears about their child’s ring matching their diploma when black kids for years have not purchased rings because of the shame they feel. It was OK to force them to not have a class ring because no black person wants to wear a Confederate ring, but now you are so concerned about a matching ring and diploma.
Where is the compassion for others? How many of you still have your high school rings?
So, apparently the retaliation begins. The fixers are no longer following orders.
The first will be Mrs. Evko, who has so disappointed Mrs. Sue Dibble that her single sin of agreeing to change the names of schools to represent all students may bring down the ax on her tenure on the school board. Mr. Daniels has a bit more time before he is shown the door, simply for having compassion for others. Check in June 2021!
This Hanover County Board of Supervisors even tried the “okey dokey,” the wink and nod.
Why can’t you just wait until we build new schools? Sorry, we know you have no intentions of building new schools anytime soon. Where is the proof that this is a realistic goal of yours? There is none. No land, no proposal for land, nothing!
This is the 21st century, it is not your father’s Hanover any longer, we have grown into a community of people who want peace, racial justice and equity for all. This is what you should represent!