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Glenn Hills yearbook controversy could bring changes

Bedden reviews 'jail' content, reaction

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Richmond County School system officials plan to reassess school publication policies and evaluate school personnel after Glenn Hills High School's crime-themed yearbook section sparked controversy.

Superintendent Dana Bedden said he has reviewed the senior pages that list students' photographs along with fake criminal charges in the format of The Jail Report , a local publication that displays charges and mug shots of recently booked individuals. The annual also labeled some students as most likely to become porn stars and exotic dancers.

Bedden said in a statement Wednesday that the content "created discomfort and disappointment" for parents, and showed that the students had little guidance or supervision when compiling the yearbook.

"We will continue to work to find out at what level the lack of supervision occurred," he said in the statement. "The administration will address any personnel deficiencies with the appropriate action and take the necessary steps to clearly articulate the school system's expectations."

Last week, Principal Wayne Frazier said a committee of teachers and parents review yearbook content before it's published. Glenn Hills High teacher Alice Hickman heads that committee, but could not be reached.

The yearbook content and media coverage have shed a negative light on students who have significant accomplishments, said Gracie Rolax, whose daughter, Turquoise Rolax, is featured in the mock-jail report. Her daughter will attend University of South Carolina Aiken this fall.

"I'm not sure who oversees this, but I must admit the porn star thing really rubbed me the wrong way," she said.

The students and Frazier suffered from the publication's contents becoming public, Rolax said. Though more supervision is needed, she said the principal should not be held accountable for the oversight.

"I can only commend him for the changes he's made at the school," Rolax said. "As many areas as he has tried to gain control over, I think this is just one area he hasn't. He can't do it all in one year."

Tanga Fitts agreed. Her son Terrell Fitts, who will attend South Carolina State University this fall, is also featured in the section. She said the senior section was harmless. Students, teachers and Frazier should not be penalized because of it, she said.

"The name could have been changed, but I think it's been blown way out of proportion," Fitts said. "If you look back, there are plenty of silly things in yearbooks past."

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Augusta resident
1368
Points
Augusta resident 06/03/10 - 01:29 am
0
0
Have you seen their band at a

Have you seen their band at a parade? They actually dry hump the road and dance like strippers. This is nothing new?

Just My Opinion
6516
Points
Just My Opinion 06/03/10 - 03:41 am
0
0
No, I don't think anyone

No, I don't think anyone should lose their job over this. There just needs to be some checks and balances in the future, and this is the reason why they should be there. It was just very, very poor judgement to let this go through. Well, it was actually just stupid.

OMallen
0
Points
OMallen 06/03/10 - 03:57 am
0
0
This is why there is supposed

This is why there is supposed to be a faculty adviser for the yearbook staff. If the teacher doesn't have the common sense to say that its a bad idea, he/she shouldn't have that extra duty. No sensible person would've thought that depicting underage students as porn stars and exotic dancers was a good idea.

johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 06/03/10 - 04:01 am
0
0
From one perspective, this

From one perspective, this year book is just high school kids doing what they think is funny. The fact that it's tacky, insulting and degrading seems to be irrelevant. "They didn't mean anything by it". One of the parents commenting felt the same way.
Our public (code for government) schools have been dumbing down for over four decades and this is just one of the tiny symptoms. The level of mediocrity our Department of Education has been striving for has been reached. No one should be surprised at the school "pranks" produced by the end product (graduating students).
While this incident doesn't demonstrate everything about every student, it is a good indicator of what our schools are doing and how nothing will improve.

Martinez
154
Points
Martinez 06/03/10 - 05:28 am
0
0
I love how some people are

I love how some people are insistent that the Principal should not be considered even slightly responsible for this. Let's look at the Principal's job description....... It is his responsibility to set the tone, establish expectations and apply standards to be followed by his staff. If his staff acted inconsistent with those expectations, it is his responsibility to take action - immediately. Even if he did not see the yearbook before publication, he should have seen it before it was distributed or at minimum before the end of the school year. This story came out after graduation, after a parent was upset enough to contact the Chronicle. The fact that the Principal had done nothing to that point makes him part of the problem.

Martinez
154
Points
Martinez 06/03/10 - 05:30 am
0
0
Augusta Resident - - - I

Augusta Resident - - - I agree although admittedly Glenn Hills is not the worst offender in that area. The worst in my opinion is Cross Creek but any attempt to discuss that with their administration is useless. What is worse - depicting a child unfavorably or teaching them to publicly behave that way? hmmmm

bone1
0
Points
bone1 06/03/10 - 06:04 am
0
0
what will be funny is to see

what will be funny is to see how many of the yearbook "predictions" turn out to be correct. i do think this is being blown way out of proportion, though: if parents are this upset, simply demand a refund or cut out the offending pages. this book is supposed to be for the kids, so maybe we should find out what they think about their book of memories.

Dixieman
18754
Points
Dixieman 06/03/10 - 06:06 am
0
0
School system needs to

School system needs to lighten up; this is just kids with kids' sense of humor. Government school system has many, many, MANY more serious problems!!

Brad Owens
5068
Points
Brad Owens 06/03/10 - 06:07 am
0
0
Turquoise Rolax might end up

Turquoise Rolax might end up as a porn star or exotic dancer? I wonder why THAT would offend a parent?

This is pathetic and denegrating like the Hip-Hop and Rap that glorifies crime and violence and treats women as nothing more than sexual objects.

If you teach kids, even ones bound for college like 'Turquoise', that this is their worth you need some corporal punishment in my book.

The popular culture that accepts and PROMOTES this this type of denegration is a indicator of how much we as a country have fallen short of encouraging African-Americans to have self worth and respect in our society.

Not that being a porn star is bad, or an exotic dancer, but that it is accepted among primary educators as someting that can be used to joke with when the stigma of those two professions are not conducive with proper acheivement in our society shows very poor judgment at best.

African-Americans have challenges that are cultural in our society and are already working at a disadvantage due to their history. We don't need to allow, much less endorse, anything that would hip away at self worth that is so hard to build and so easy to damage.

I hope that makes sense,

Brad

cristinadh
6
Points
cristinadh 06/03/10 - 06:34 am
0
0
A lot of these "culture

A lot of these "culture barriers" can be overcome if they stop thinking like their ancestors.. know your history and know where you came from but work towards new thinking and creating more advantages and opportunities rather than continuing with the same old way of thinking...

FaceTheMusic
0
Points
FaceTheMusic 06/03/10 - 06:36 am
0
0
Wonder how long before the AC

Wonder how long before the AC editorial staff blames President Obama for the yearbook problems?

Austin Rhodes
3070
Points
Austin Rhodes 06/03/10 - 06:49 am
0
0
The idea and concept behind

The idea and concept behind this "theme" belongs no doubt to some bright and subversive STUDENT (sound familiar Brad?) but the fact that it was allowed to be excecuted belongs SQUARELY on the head of Ms. Hickman.

My wife was the yearbook advisor at Greenbrier a few years back...and she was CONSTANTLY on the look out for stuff being snuck in. She made SURE she was the last one to see the material as it was sent into the printer. And she was looking for LITTLE, sneaky content...

The notion that such a thing could happen to this degree without LONG and involved consideration by Ms. Hickman is 100% science fiction !

disssman
6
Points
disssman 06/03/10 - 07:07 am
0
0
It would appear that Ms.

It would appear that Ms. Hickman is maybe ineffective as a teacher of Eng/Lang Arts. Go up to the list of salaries and you will be amazed at what we pay for inefficiency in our little old school system. Next question is why wasn't she available for comments, and why did the AC just drop it there instead of pressing the issue with the BOE?

chadwick323i
48
Points
chadwick323i 06/03/10 - 07:14 am
0
0
I blame obama and the

I blame obama and the democrats!!

Brad Owens
5068
Points
Brad Owens 06/03/10 - 07:33 am
0
0
Austin, As a former

Austin,

As a former subversive who has sold out to 'da man', I say, touche.

Usually the students try to get someting slipped in that is an inside joke or pop culture joke that the students would know but teachers would not catch.

This dose not fall into that category and I agree with you 100% that Hickman is to blame.

Too bad poor taste is not against school board policy.

Brad

Hera
0
Points
Hera 06/03/10 - 07:46 am
0
0
Great explanation Brad, I

Great explanation Brad, I agree a million percent.

VOICE
0
Points
VOICE 06/03/10 - 07:51 am
0
0
brad owens- perhaps you

brad owens- perhaps you should read article again. Turquoise Rolax was NOT the student who was choosen to become a PORN STAR. However since you spelled her name correctly feel free to google her. Start here @ Augusta chronicle.com and search her. Better yet get a copy of said yearbook and see all her accomplishments. Trust I am not worried about mine. All four of my kids (2graduated from GHHS and 2 are current students) all excel. However this is MY community and I focus all my spare time on ALL the kids. Perhaps you should lend a hand and volunteer.

VOICE
0
Points
VOICE 06/03/10 - 07:53 am
0
0
Bottom line GHHS has never

Bottom line GHHS has never had a responsible person to oversee the yearbook. Maybe now that will change. Students will try to get away with anything as long as they are allowed.

VOICE
0
Points
VOICE 06/03/10 - 07:55 am
0
0
By the way all of you

By the way all of you outsiders.... GHHS students control the yearbook not HICKMAN and that's the problem. They do what ever they want always has. Maybe now this will change.

Mr. Thackeray
1009
Points
Mr. Thackeray 06/03/10 - 07:55 am
0
0
What does this say about the

What does this say about the type of staff at the school? No matter how you slice it, they are incompetent or oblivious.

glassrinkmaker
0
Points
glassrinkmaker 06/03/10 - 08:11 am
0
0
Facethemusic, about as long

Facethemusic, about as long as it took you to tye your assine post!

scoobynews
3896
Points
scoobynews 06/03/10 - 08:22 am
0
0
Teachers need to stop trying

Teachers need to stop trying to be "friends" with students just so they will behave in their class. I don't befriend students because I am not there to be their friend. If you decide to teach then teach and stop trying to be on your student's level. I see this all the time. Most of the time they do it for popularity and in hopes of the "bad" kids behaving in their class so they don't have to deal with discipline issues. Any teacher in his or her right mind would have never allowed such content to be published unfortunately they are some out there simply there for a paycheck and summer break.

lsmith
105
Points
lsmith 06/03/10 - 08:33 am
0
0
Thugism and gangsterism are
Unpublished

Thugism and gangsterism are glorified by the young people in this and most urban schools. The clothing, (pants on the ground), the rap and hip hop anthems they listen to, the lack of respect for the family unit is dooming this generation into an existence of underachievement which can only be reversed thru intensive educational endeavors over a long period of time. Proper nurturing by responsible parents who diligently work at raising their children to respect the law, the country they live in and yes, please respect yourself too while getting your high school diplomas I honestly don't see much of a positive change ahead for the entire generation, only more degradation, school dropouts. Of course then the culture collapse comes full circle and you start seeing these same students end up with real mug shots, dealing drugs and procreating an entire new generation of social misplants who have no way to go but down.
Ah, ye Glenn Hills graduating class, Yas have seen the enemy, gazed upon it's face and it IS YOU!!!!!! Wake up, and take charge and responsiblity for making sure you don't fall into the crime gap.
I sincerely hope the pendulum swings the right way for you all though. Congratulations graduating Class of 2010. May the spirit of America be with you

AugustaVoter
2
Points
AugustaVoter 06/03/10 - 08:48 am
0
0
My wife was the teacher in

My wife was the teacher in charge of the yearbook at Butler this past year. You would be surprised at the amount of stuff she tossed out or didn't allow from the students. The yearbook adviser, i.e. teacher in charge, has the ultimate responsibility to make sure the yearbook is appropriate and politically correct. She thought about how kids and others would look at the book in 20 years.

AugustaVoter
2
Points
AugustaVoter 06/03/10 - 09:01 am
0
0
Isn't Glenn Hills on that

Isn't Glenn Hills on that list to have half the staff replaced anyway? This should not surprise anyone.

disssman
6
Points
disssman 06/03/10 - 09:11 am
0
0
Austin and Brad. I view

Austin and Brad. I view Ms.Hickman as a worker in a facility with an assistant manager (assistant principal) and a general manager (Principal). I may be wrong but what is the job of an english teacher and what are managements responsibilities for the facility? Now if Ms. Hickman was granted full and total responsibility (no prior review by management) then I agree with you both. In fact what does her employment agreement say her duties and reporting responsibilities are? I really think we are giving management a real deep pass on this one. Bottom line Ms. H needs to be given approval by the BOE to speak to the media about this or the media needs to camp on the BOE until some real answers are provided.

spotted_assassin
67
Points
spotted_assassin 06/03/10 - 09:51 am
0
0
I can't really go out and say

I can't really go out and say that it's a product of hip hop, and all of it's objectiveness...It's everywhere! My goodness, MTV glorifies this kinds of behavior with shows like 16 and Pregnant, Jersey Shore, and any other reality show on there. TMZ plasters celebrity jail photos on the tv at 5:30 EVERYDAY...so kids should be immune to think that this is normal, and that the yearbook would be accepted. I dont condone it, but I do see how it could happen. It's the fault of society. We let things get outta control. I see kids getting away with things that we, as kids, would have been murdered for! LOL! And the main excuse is that they pick it up from tv. And as for the 1st comment about the band...that band has probably sent more students to college on scholarships than your high school. Remember, you can't play in a band if your grades aren't good! JUST MY 2 CENTS!

Brad Owens
5068
Points
Brad Owens 06/03/10 - 10:24 am
0
0
'VOICE', It doesn't matter if

'VOICE',

It doesn't matter if she was THE lady who was named in that particular description. I think you need to go back and read my post. I think you will see that I'm trying to support fine ladies like Ms. Turquoise Rolax who will be attending an institution of higher learing.

I wonder if she appreciates having fellow classmates denegrated in that fashion?

By the way, in 1997 I was a Richmond County Subsitute teacher and filled in plenty of times out at GHHS. The kids are great there and always enjoyed being there. I now live in West Africa otherwise I would "lend a hand and volunteer" as you challenged. Since I can't, I will help them in any way I can, including paying my property taxes and standing up here publicly to defend their dignity.

Ms. Hickman most certainly is the reason this happened and she should have to explain herself to the public, parents, and teachers for joining in the trashing of the African-Americans' image by allowing these children to be framed as criminals.

They may think it is funny but we adults have a duty to do what is right by them.

Crime amongst African-American youths is VERY sensitive issue (or at least it should be) given the high level of poverty and crime in the African-American community in Augusta.

This is no laughing matter, it is a reality for a majority of struggling members of out community.

I hope you understand that I am on the children's side here,

Brad

noxiousfumes
498
Points
noxiousfumes 06/03/10 - 10:30 am
0
0
I work at GHHS, and Ms.

I work at GHHS, and Ms. Hickman is an excellent teacher who does a lot to help her students and make the school better. The yearbook as a whole was a good product; however, as a cost-savings measure, the senior book was included in the same volume (you turn the yearbook upside down to see the senior book). Usually the senior book has some irreverent pages, including inside jokes that the students shared through the year. The public doesn't see that book; it's usually just the seniors who get that. Unfortunately, with both the yearbook and the senior book being in the same volume, more people than usual saw the pages.

Personally, I think they could have done the page using more innocuous terms such as most likely to have a bad hair day instead of actual crimes. It was in bad taste, and I think that closer attention should have been paid to the work of the students. Sure, all parties involved should be held accountable, because sometimes mistakes in judgment are made. I just wish we could get more people talking about all the good things we accomplished this year, including raising our test scores and graduation rate.

Life Is A Mystery
0
Points
Life Is A Mystery 06/03/10 - 10:42 am
0
0
I agree that Ms. Hickman

I agree that Ms. Hickman should be held accountable for the portrayal of the students in this light, but, I also think the Principal should be scrutinized as well. I'm sure there are a lot of different factors which contributed to the students wanting to present their yearbook in such a fashion, what's definite is that the problem most likely came from their homes and parental supervision, whether that be because of some kind of disadvantage or not...but at this point, is that really relevant? The best thing for the administrators to do about this issue is to reform their policies and educate their faculty to make sure this does not happen again. As for the students who participated in the yearbook creation, the majority of them are graduating..so anything that happens from this point forth will not affect them. The students who are still there, trying to get their education are the ones that matter and the administrators need to focus on that cause...because that is their purpose.

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