There Was Never Any Intent

Shawn Williams:  Please go back and watch yourself on the video now making its way around the world on YouTube.

I was ashamed of the disingenuous way you presented yourself in an official, staged media event.  The press conference was about as ineffective as those being staged recently by Rep. Anthony Weiner where he also tried slight of hand with the facts in an attempt to shed media scrutiny.  Didn’t work for him either.

Here are a few points for you: 

(1)  Don’t mislead Lee County citizens.  Stating there was “never any intent” to send those letters to Rep. Stone was a blatant misrepresentation of the facts.  You know that and we know that.   

(2) This letter writing idea was clearly a violation of the county schools’ policies against political activity.  Playing word games to defend what the teacher did digs your hole deeper.   

(3) When you stretch the truth, try to be consistent.  It makes you look even more ridiculous when you back-track and change your statement (as you did in responding to media questions at the end of the press conference.) 

For the record, you really didn’t do Dr. Moss or Lee County any good with your spin.  Some, including the Herald Staff, appeared confused.  Others were just shaking their head in disbelief.   

The May 2012 School Board election isn’t far off.  Try and remember that!

About Thomas Jefferson

3rd President and Founding Father of the U.S. I conceived and promoted the country's system of public education in the early 19th Century. I am often misunderstood about my the "wall of separation" term and letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, which unfortunately has come to be interpreted as my suggesting separation of God and the Holy Trinity from all matters of state. I am a Christian, saved by the blood of Jesus Christ and I owe Him my salvation. I pray for this great country, that it remain strong, independent and Christian!
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24 Responses to There Was Never Any Intent

  1. Mr. Jefferson,

    I am sure this posting will be credited to me. I am accused all the time. I just want to make it clear that YES I recorded this video. I was there sitting right behind Mr. Moss and everyone saw me take the video. But no, this is not my post and, no, I am not Thomas Jefferson. I have my own blog, and this video is posted there as well.

    I just wanted to make sure the libs get their facts straight on that!


    • Gary Knudsen says:

      Also, Gary Knudsen did not post this. Gary Knudsen is no Thomas Jefferson. Nor does he pretend to be! Basically, Gary is not Tom. Gary just works at the pepper factory! No confusion for the liberals!

  2. Thanks for the post TJ. After watching this video, I only regret I wasn’t able to be there. I’m glad Sheila was able to capture this charade on video and get it out to YouTube. Keep up the great work!


  3. James Wilson says:

    Pray for your enemies. This is a harsh post. Shawn Williams is not the root of the evil when this is all in context. He has been misled or strong-armed by Jeff Moss just like most of his fellow school board members.

    As conservatives we have handled this poorly and made no friends in the process and have lost support within the community. While our frustration is real and well founded (especially Mike Stone’s) we need to remember who is at the epicenter of all of this. A great teacher, who is not at fault, is suffering hardships and is unfairly targeted. It pains me that she has gone through this. I am a strong conservative and have had my kids in her classroom and would blindly send them again without a second thought. I will support her even if it means that I have to abandon my ties to certain fellow conservatives and I am not alone in these sentiments. I encourage all of you, like me, to direct your frustration to where it belongs and pray for your enemy. Perhaps he can change, and if he cannot lets replace him and not leave our community torn asunder in the process.

    …and lets make our posts sound a little more Christian like we claim to be.

    • James;

      Thanks for reminding us of the need to remain grounded in Christ in our every deed.

      No one has claimed Pastor Shawn Williams is the root of evil or anything of the sort. He has made mistakes as Chairman of the School Board and, like all public officials, he is subject to public scrutiny and criticism. I respectfully disagree that conservatives have handled this school budget process poorly. Silence and tolerance are unacceptable. Righteous indignation is in order.

      If only we can manage to correct the behaviors of the Superintendent and his subordinate administrators. I’m praying daily for them and Pastor Williams. Any other suggestions?


    • Goose says:

      First not all of the Founding Fathers were Christian…You seem to think everybody except Moss was innocent in this whole affair. Williams was a Marine, usually they are hard to strong-arm, Ditto for law enforcement officers, which he was, teachers? So I should conclude that he was misled. I suppose the great teacher was misled too. We should forgive her and pray for her since you know she was a great teacher? I quote Thomas Jefferson “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” Neither of the above remained silent, they supported Moss, and took action to forward his agenda.
      Mr. Wilson how would you have us handle this affair? Remain silent and pray for them all? If they confess and repent I could forgive and forget but I see no evidence of that happening.

  4. LetLibertyPrevail says:

    Then isn’t up to Mr. Williams to find out the truth instead of throwing out talking points? Being a little more Christian-like does not excuse misleading the public. He can do exactly what Cameron did and check his guts. If he still believes the way he does, so be it.

    but how about some integrity?

    Oh one more thing: the truth hurts. If the community wants to deny that or say anyone has been too harsh, tough. In the long run the truth is better. And somebody’s feelings will always be hurt.

  5. Randall Lee Yow says:

    If you don’t like a man’s political view point that is one thing, but don’t make fun of someone’s grammar and the way they speak. That’s just low down and petty. Shawn Williams and Bill Tatum spoke well enough to get elected with clear majorities so I don’t think the citizens of Lee County cared. Also do you think all of Lee County is sub-par or just the educational system?

    The delightful Mrs Barber,
    Is that your cane in the video? Have you still not heeled from your surgery? I will pray for your recovery. Also we know that you are not Thomas Jefferson. We have a good concept of who’s who.

    James Wilson,
    Thank you sir for coming out in support of the teacher. For I while I thought everyone here was in support of firing the teacher and the principal, like Robbie Westbrook stated he was for. It is good to see that someone else thinks this whole process has gotten out of hand. I await the joint meeting of the BOC and the BOE to see if anything good comes out of it.

    James Madison,
    What about Mark Akinosho (I don’t know if I spelled that right)? I thought he was going to be the conservative savior of the BOE? I feel he was been largely silent since being elected, or is it just me that thinks that?

    I still think the Teacher should have had enough political acumen to recuse the little girl from this exercise. If she had simply been directed to write a letter to the Governor or to write a paper about state government in general, I feel like a majority of these problems could have been prevented. Letter-Gate just proves my theory though that Lee County/Sanford can never make the national news for anything good.

    • Sheila Barber says:

      Yes Randall, that’s my trusty cane. Recovery is much much slower than I wish.

      I appreciate your comments.


    • Robby Westbrook says:

      It’s Robby with a Y Randall. Thanks for the shout out anyway. It’s the thought that counts.

  6. Rich Wulpern says:

    I watched the press conference and it reminded me of Pres Clinton and his ‘It depends on your definition of is is’ charade. Playing games with semantics like that is both ingenuis and insulting.

    Look, the original assignment by the class was poorly orchestrated and someone should have spoken to the teacher and reminded her of the schools policy. That should have been it, end of story. No firings, no lynchings, just take care of the situation and try and make sure it does not happen again.

    However, this is not what happened. Like the whole issue with Rep. Weiner, the problem wasn’t the initial infraction, but the way it has been handled since. Yes, the representative is a letch, but the biggest problem was and still is the lying after the fact. Now, I’m not accusing anyone of lying, but I can’t think of a worse way of dealing with the public and upset parents than what Dr Moss and Mr. Williams are doing. What they are trying to pull off sets a very bad precedent for what is acceptable assignments in the classroom and, in my opinion, is a very slippery slope.

    This should not be acceptable or tolerated.

    • RealityCheck says:

      The rhetoric being bantered around is very, very disappointing. This is Lee County poltics at its best (or worst depending on how you look at it). Lee County politics is a microcosim of what is happening in our Nation right now. We have parties who choose to look at issues from a one-dimensional state that serve their best interest. No one is willing to resolve issues with the overall good of Lee County Citizens in mind.

      • Patrick Henry says:

        I beg to differ. The problem with this country is that most of us sat on our butts and refused to get involved before politics went so far in our pockets! We were a silent majority who just thought if we all got along we would be ok. BULL CRAP.

        Now we’re involved and the big government spenders, right and left, can’t take the heat!
        Let the chips fall where they may on either side of the fence. Give us citizens a break!

  7. Rich Wulpern says:

    Mr Reality Check,
    I looked at this very carefully and for a long time before commenting. I am not looking for anyone’s head, I am not looking for anyone to be fired. What I am looking for is the absence of political influence in the classroom and the absolute certanty that the students will not be pawns in the affairs of the school or county.
    I have no problem having kids write their representatives, but do you really think the teacher didn’t guide the students in what to say and how to say it? Third graders are not capable of understanding the issues involved and could not have written the letter involved without serious outside (aka teacher) influence.
    You may agree with the view expressed in the letters and that’s fine. But I read a reply which I believe was on the Herald site which might get you to look at this in more than 1 dimension. In the reply, the author asked: What would the response have been if the letters had stated that they felt that giving meals to low income children was a waste of money and that the money could be better spent elsewhere. What would your reply have been then? That maybe the school went to far? Maybe the kids were being coached?
    Again, allowing students to get mixed up in the politics of the land is a bad idea. People banter around the word indoctrination with very little proof or foresight. If this is allowed, that word just may be applicable.

    • RealityCheck says:

      The purpose of my reply was to point out that it appears to me no one is willing to accept what the other side is saying as truthful based on their one-dimensional view. It is clear from these response that no one will accept anything other than the Superintendant or the BOE coming out and saying we made this teacher, the school, and students participate in this and it was politically motivated. No one is willing to accept this teacher was using this as an opportunity to teach kids. Could they grasp the full picture of what is or was taking place? Probably not, but they probably know more than we give them credit for, and at this point in their lives because of the teaching that took place, they probably know more than many adults in this world.

      Should the schools use kids as political pawns? Of course not. Is there evidence that happened here? I haven’t seen it yet. I’ve read speculation, rumors and inneuendo, but I’ve seen no hard proof. But speculation, rumors, and inneundo become realilty to further the cause or purpose of a person or group’s one-dimensional view.

      As a conservative, I want those in leadership to do their best in spending tax payer’s dollars wisely. I want sit by silently and let it happen. However, I’m not going to cast accusations and mount verbal threats and call for people to be fired based on speculation alone or by reading the spin each side is putting on matters.

      • Patrick Henry says:


        You can’t see that the kids were used as pawns? Ok, please do get a reality check.
        When only one 3rd grade class actually sends letters, after reviewing the video I can’t tell if Shawn knows if letters were actually sent or maybe it was emails or maybe nothing! Anyway, when the ONLY class had a child whose dad was THE REP for this area sent them and nothing’s wrong?

        Ummm Ummm Ummm couldn’t the teacher have the kids write about getting new playground equipment? No No. The kids were concerned that if “daddy doesn’t give more money” they might not pass the EOG. What 3rd grade child walks around talking about people losing jobs and worries about EOG (using the acronym)?

        Hmm Hmmm Hmmmm Reality Check – Seems the LCSS attorney would make use of the $5000 fee (not sure if it’s monthly or yearly) and tell LCSS and BOE members to just shut up! Oh I forgot! He’s the guy Mike beat for the seat.


      • Jimmy Love is paid $5000 a MONTH by the LCBOE, paid in response to a simple monthly non-itemized invoice. It is his $60,000 per year retainer he collects even if he contributes nothing more to the BOE than occasionally showing up for meetings. For the really complicated matters– like zero tolerance policies leading to criminal prosecution for accidental paring knife possession — the BOE brings in the ‘big guns’ (Schwartz Law Firm in Raleigh) on an hourly basis. So, the Lee County taxpayers get to pay for multiple education lawyers during the year. As Sacha Baron Cohen popularized in his Borat movie, “What a country!”

      • Rich Wulpern says:

        Reality Check:
        Serious question here: What would you require as proof positive? You have seen, or at least, I hope you’ve seen the letter to Mr Stone. Mr. Williams has had his press conference with his explanations. What would you require to make a determination?

  8. Bill Horner III says:

    The only thing I was confused about was why Richard Littiken was shooting video of Billy Liggett. Reminded me of the days when Keith Clark used to shoot video of Alexa Milan and me at school meetings…creeeeee-py.

    • Goose says:

      Speaking of legal fees was the suit against Sherriff Carter & Lee Co. etc. By Steve W. Thomas for $3M+ for Excessive Force in the beating that broke his jaw and being tasered 11 times among other things ever settled? This was the son of the Steve Thomas that was involved in the BOC “sign-gate” scandal of the 2008 election. I remember it mostly because of the speculation on the “chicken” blog that it was payback for the dad talking too much. Every day used to be a soap opera.

    • Richard Littiken says:


      Contrary to Billy’s self-centered perception, I was filming Supt. Jeff Moss snuggling up to the Editor of The Sanford Herald juxtaposed with the chuckling AFP Chairman overlooking the spectacle.

      It was quite disturbing, given that Lee County Schools was about to hold a press conference to discuss how a teacher (that had Bob Etheridge campaign in her class, which Etheridge publicly apologized), force fed LCSS and NCAE talking points to a class of 3rd graders. And how that class had the daughter of the elected official they were writing to, asking him to please make the budget higher so their TA did not lose her job. What a terrible thing for any teacher, good or bad, to do to a child.

      Having been at the business end of Keith Clarke, I would say what reminded me of Keith most was Billy’s non-veiled threat about the use of the video followed by Billy and the Herald’s photographer’s snickering together as they then turned and walked away.

      The gentleman that witnessed the conversation and who initially was confronted by Billy for taking a picture and whom I met just after the press conference was stunned. At one point, he asked Billy why he was being so accusatory.

      Heck, one might say he was creeeeee-ped out by the local press’ actions.

      Go Canes! and sorry Publius for not reading this blog regularly. Shout out to the tipster that let me know I was being unduly attacked so I could respond.

  9. Richard Littiken says:

    I wasn’t filming Billy Liggett. I was filming Billy Liggett talking to someone who happens to be my political enemy. It’s different. Also, I am really bad at paperwork.

    • Billy Liggett says:

      Thanks Jonathon, your snappy wit always makes me chort. Maybe one day you’ll get a job at a real paper. What am I saying? You’re in sports because you are incapable of reporting without bias.

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