Response to recent conversation

Commenters on the AJC Get Schooled blog had a field day with the news of Kelly Marlow’s arrest. A controversial freshman member of the Cherokee County school board, Marlow was arrested for making false statements after another woman, Barbara Knowles, the county Republican Party secretary, accused the Cherokee schools superintendent of attempting to run her down after a recent tense school board meeting. Police say statements by Marlow and her political adviser Robert Trim supporting Knowles were fabrications. Marlow has been a relentless critic of Superintendent Frank Petruzielo, even filing a complaint with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, alleging he is insubordinate and intimidating. Here is a sampling of comments:

John Konop: The problem is Kelly Marlow does not understand the proper role of a board member: 1) Your job is to do what is best for the community via our schools. Obviously, putting our accreditation at risk over a personal vendetta is not proper behavior for a board member. 2) A board member's private or public job is oversight of the process, direction and budget. It is not to manage or direct day-to-day operations. Once again, Kelly stepped over the line by bypassing the management structure and going directly to employees with management-type requests. This behavior would not be tolerated in the private or public sector, for obvious reasons of disrupting day-to-day management. 3) Finally, Kelly, instead of bringing up issues in a constructive manner, focused on spewing baseless remarks over core issues. Obviously, questioning the process (and) budget is the job of a board member. Instead, she has made the job about her, not improving the schools.

Straker: Is there something about being on a Georgia school board that turns more or less ordinary people into crazy political nut jobs?

Mattie: This sounds like something teenagers would do. I have decided that schools will never improve as long as there are elected school boards. Just when you think they can't get any worse, something else from yet another school board hits the news.

Class: Even if Dr. P wasn't slowing down, why file a legal complaint against him? Maybe he didn't see them. Maybe he was texting. Maybe it wasn't even him. Why take the risk? What was Marlow thinking — or was she thinking? No matter what I personally think about Dr. P, I can't believe he would even pretend to try to run someone down.

Education: Mighty interesting that we haven't had any comments from certain people about how this specific racial group of board members has made a farce of the public trust and managing the county's educational system. If this had been a group of black board members — let's say in Clayton or DeKalb (counties) — this comment thread would have already been hijacked into a diatribe on the ills of the black race. But since it's a group of white folks, all we hear is that these people are acting a little crazy. So, when it's black folks acting crazy, it's a reflection on the whole race. When it's white folks, it's just those few that we condemn. Hmmm … let's ferret out the logic in that … oh, don't bother, there is none. There's only hate in that mentality.