Press Release from Cameron Sharpe; Lee County School Board Member

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 8, 2011

This past week, Lee County Schools garnered national attention when a Tramway Elementary School teacher required that her students compose letters to Representative Mike Stone. The letters outlined for Mr. Stone a series of concerns related to the impact that the loss of teaching assistants might have on education and school safety and further urged the Representative to increase the amount of educational funds included in the NC budget.

While I believe that even the youngest among us are entitled to free speech as provided us by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, I do not believe that the manipulation and exploitation of our students for the purposes of propagating a specific and biased political position is representative of the spirit of the First Amendment.

Both Superintendent Jeff Moss and School Board Chairman Shawn Williams have expressed support for this type of irresponsible abuse of power within our schools, however, I feel it is important that members of the public recognize that the opinions of these individuals do not represent the the position of the school board as a whole.

As a member of the Lee County Board of Education, I was elected to represent the interests of the people of Lee County in providing a system of education for our youth that operates efficiently, effectively, and in accordance with NC State Law and with the Policies set forth by the Lee County Board of Education.

Under the provisions of Lee County School Board Policy 7300, I believe the following:

    • It is inappropriate for education officials at any level to use our students as pawns in the furtherance of any particular political agenda.
    • It is inappropriate for Lee County Schools employees at any level to use district time and resources in the furtherance of any particular political agenda.
    •  It is wholly improper for any employee of Lee County schools to use his or her position or title to represent or support an particular political agenda.

It seems clear that Dr. Moss fails to recognize that his is not a political position and that he, by engaging in political posturing, has violated the trust of school board, the constiuents, and the children of this district. Unfortunately, many of our well-intended school level teachers and staff have been encouraged by administrators to engage in activities that are in violation of Lee County Schools Policies.

As a School Board Member, I would like to personally apologize to Representative Stone and his family for the violation of his trust and his daughter’s rights. In the future, we should make every effort to ensure that the actions of every employee of Lee County Schools are representative of a clear understanding of the purpose of this system of education and that the rights of our students and the trust of our constituents are not violated.

Lee County School Board Policy 7300:

For students to succeed, school employees must approach their responsibilities conscientiously, always remembering that the ultimate responsibility of the school district is to provide students with the opportunity to receive a sound basic education.

All school employees shall:

1. familiarize themselves with; comply with; support; and, when appropriate, enforce board policies, administrative procedures, school rules and applicable laws;

2. place the welfare of students as the first concern of the school district and attend to the safety and welfare of students, including the need to provide appropriate supervision of students;

3. properly use, take care of and protect school property, equipment and materials;

4. demonstrate integrity, respect and commitment to the truth through attitudes, behavior, dress, and communications with others;

5. regularly and promptly attend work;

6. carry out assigned responsibilities in a conscientious manner and maintain efficiency and knowledge of the developments in any relevant field(s) of work;

7. transact all official business with the properly designated officials in the school district and submit required reports promptly at the times specified;

8. work with other staff members to ensure the effective and efficient operation of the district’s schools;

9. refrain from using school employment, contacts and privileges to promote partisan politics, personal or religious views or propaganda of any kind;

10. address or appropriately direct any complaints concerning school employees, the school program or school operations;

11. maintain just and courteous professional relationships with students, parents, staff members and others; and

12. support and encourage good school-community relations in all interactions with students, parents and members of the community, and establish cooperation between the community and the school district.

Also see Lee County Schools Policy Code 5210

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About James Madison

I was the fourth president of these United States. My wife Dolley and I are greatly disturbed with the erosion of your liberties and the encroachment of the present federal, state, and local governments. I was an original member of the Democratic-Republican Party in this country and I would welcome a return to the conservative values that united Democrats and Republicans in my day. Let's start with putting God back in our lives and our government so He will richly bless our endeavors in Lee County. Let's force our elected officials be more transparent and accountable to the electorate in fiscal and social matters. I look forward to hearing your ideas about these matters and others that are on your hearts and minds. Thank You for participating!
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7 Responses to Press Release from Cameron Sharpe; Lee County School Board Member

  1. Thank you Cameron. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!!

  2. At last, a Lee County School Board member with articulated principles!

  3. Someone else says:

    Williams is having a press conference at 5:30…here comes the blowback!

    Can we just get Moss out of here??? He clearly has ethical issues.

    • Sanford27330 says:

      I can’t believe the board waited until right before a high school graduation to have a press conference. This has been in the news for three days, and now they speak?

  4. Someone else says:

    Given what was released and that it is following on the heels of Sharpe’s statement, I think the timing was not shocking.

  5. Bottom of the Totem Pole says:

    From the Bottom of the (Moss) Totem Pole, THANK YOU Mr. Sharpe!! There were repeated emails from administration and several staff meetings within each individual school “sharing” information and telling us what WE needed to do. Sadly some have already been told/written letters to and sent certified letters(at a cost of $5.59 per person)that they have been cut from the school – pending final board approval on June 14, 2011. I guess Dr. Moss has plenty of money to send another certified letter giving the final decision of the board to those he chose to terminate. Oh, check out the employment section of the Lee County Schools’ website – THERE ARE
    vacancies under the classified section – teacher assistants. SO why did a teacher assistant need to be pawned as losing her job when there are VACANCIES??? Bet she hasn’t thought about HOW she was USED!

  6. Goose says:

    Bottom, I am fairly sure that if Moss was forced to answer your question he would reply that he is just complying with the law. (Sorry I can’t cite the law or the exact provisions) Basically the law, requires notice of a RIF or a plant closing to the people that MIGHT be effected by it, and written notice to employees that have been selected to be RIFed. I am not sure of what the timing period might be but I think it is 30 days. Since I have myself received 2 of these notices (in private industry) only to have them withdrawn at the last minute, I know what the effects are on the people that receive them. Employers hate the law since they would rather have their employees working right up to the time the Axe falls.

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