Editorial: Searching for truth, integrity

Jun. 21, 2014 @ 11:58 PM

Granville County students received a history lesson taught through ugly means this semester.

Final damage totals haven’t been completed. But the adults who lead them already count within the tally the ousting of one superintendent, one attorney and two school board members.

In terms of dollars, the tally is far north of a quarter million dollars, perhaps even more than a half million.

In terms of education to the students watching, it was priceless.

Amid all the finger pointing and grandstanding “for the good of the children,” the public didn’t watch the very board it elected to represent them. They came a hundred-strong or more and demanded action when in fact their earlier apathy and lack of engagement enabled respected members of the community to fall within the grip of pressure.

We don’t know what really happened with the Granville County school board. In response to Tim Farley’s exit as superintendent, a forced resignation costing much more in integrity than the $318,000 severance package, the board is silent. They have chosen to cowardly hide in darkness, not doing the people’s business in the sunlight of open government.

The board accepted an audit without noting discrepancies by comparison to their board minutes, an egregious mistake in accountability to voters.

Whether Farley did anything wrong in his role as superintendent or secretary to the board is unknown. But it speaks volumes when a superintendent is paid to leave rather than fired for cause without a penny.

To date, the prevailing preference is to eliminate problems and speak of looking to the future. The voters took care of two, the board two more.

And the Granville County education system remains embattled. Those temporary fixes are not enough.

Granville’s school board needs integrity and our trust. We are entitled to know what happened and why so we also can understand what is being done to prevent a repeat in the future.

Unseal portions of closed sessions related to administrators’ salaries. Provide a timeline of events, dating back to when each senior administrator was hired, and including all changes in compensation.

Show us what happened. Own any mistakes. Because today, we’re in the dark and the history lesson is nowhere close to recess.