Buckingham School Board should have appointed Goodman

Published 4:52 pm Thursday, January 7, 2016

C an you imagine having a team member who did not want to be on the team? Can you imagine having a quarterback who does not like football? Can you imagine having a school principal who does not like children?

In December, the Buckingham County School Board voted unanimously to appoint Frank Knott to fill the unexpired term of the late Russell P. “Pete” Gowin as a school board member, representing District Three.

Knott does not know whether he will run for the office in the expected special election in 2016.  Why would you nominate a man who did not run for the office? If he cared for the education of the students of Buckingham County, he should have ran for the office.

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Why would the school board overlook the man — Rev. Joii Goodman — who ran for the office in District Four (Maysville District) and came in second place behind Gowin by a mere 40 votes? 

Surely the school board did not respect the voters in District Four who preferred Rev. Goodman over Knott, who did not run for the seat. Was the only significant qualification for the job that Knott had completed Gowin’s term in 2013? He did not run in the special election that year either.

What about the will of the people — the voters of the district who gave Goodman 46 percent of the vote? How many votes did Knott get from the voters in District Four?

Did the school board not like Goodman because he is educated, religious, a military veteran and dedicated to helping the children of Buckingham County get a better education? Did the board not like him because he is a father with three children in this school division and he is outraged that Buckingham County students are rated sixth from the bottom of all Virginia school districts, according to a 2015 announcement from the Virginia Department of Education on students’ rank on the Standards of Learning (SOL) testing?

Additionally, School Digger, a school rating company, ranks Buckingham Elementary School 106 out of 131 school districts in its Virginia Elementary School Rankings.

Buckingham’s school division needs to join the 21st century and stop operating on the Mayberry RFD mentality.

REV. DR. GEORGE BATES is a Buckingham resident and is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Virginia’s School of Law. His email address is advicedoctor72@yahoo.com.