Well, it's over and it didn't even take as long as I thought. Now we can forget about the non -scandal of the Lakeside High School football coach being caught teaching our school children that cheating is fine -- even if you get caught! Before this event, I naÃvely believed getting caught was extremely hard on the cheater. Not so -- not in the Columbia County school system, nor with my Columbia County neighbors.
At least the Columbia County school superintendent made sure Jody Grooms was punished. He is required to repay the school for the $250 fine it paid the Georgia High School Association. He will lose his 12-month contract, athletic director supplement and an extra planning period given to athletic directors. Mr. Grooms also will receive an official reprimand from Superintendent Charles Nagle, and if he is caught the next time, he will be fired. Now that really is tough, isn't it?
Mr. Nagle said, "Without full termination, this is about as strict as you can get." If requiring a football team to practice at least one method of cheating, then instructing them to use it in a game, isn't deserving of termination, what is?
To me, the sad portion of this situation is that the punishment of Mr. Grooms by the school system -- first the principal, then the superintendent and finally the school board, all agreeing the man doesn't deserve firing -- is a figurative lashing with a wet noodle that merely agrees with the parents of these children. Children essentially are being taught there is no such thing as moral values. Why aren't the parents up in arms?
Do we now know our leaders in the Columbia County schools have no sense of moral values? Possibly, but until now, I didn't believe our citizens apparently agree with this. Should we all be ashamed of ourselves? If not, why not?
Richard Netzley, Evans