Letter to the Editor: Citizens concerned about schools aren’t bullies


In response to the letter to the editor on Aug. 8 by Steve Shaffer, I respond that, first of all, I am a citizen of Shenandoah County and not a “growing element.”

I find his repeated use of the word “element” offensive. Just as Shaffer, I am a concerned citizen, but not an “element.”

Secondly, when he writes that this element needs to stop “picking at and beating up the schools” he implies that any citizen concerned with the public educational system in the county is a bully and the school system is a victim. Our educational system is overseen by six elected officials and a highly paid superintendent.

If Shaffer wants a school system that allows a student to curse a teacher in the foulest language and be permitted back in that teacher’s class/presence after some days in out-of-school suspension, he has it.

If Shaffer wants a school system that graduates students who cannot read or write cursive, he has it.

If Shaffer wants a school system that graduates students who will have to compete against other students who have had twice the math, English, and science classes, he has it.

If Shaffer wants a system that will not adjust attendance zones so that the southern campus is more efficient, he has it. (By the way, is there any discussion about the safety for the varsity football players at Stonewall Jackson High School?)

I question the management of our school system and how well it prepares our students, and I am not some “element,” but a critic of how we educate the children of Shenandoah County.

Roger Barbee, Edinburg

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