by Dan Sullivan
To be clear: there was no credible threat
to Augusta County schools. A discredited Sheriff’s Department compounded hysteria
over a simple, harmless art assignment by foisting a ludicrous rationale that
something might occur. Meanwhile, an alleged beat down of a student by fellow classmates
has gone uninvestigated by local officials.
concerns me the most is what we don’t have knowledge of,” Fisher said.
“What people in chat rooms may be organizing that we haven’t found
yet.” – as reported in The News Leader
we don’t know rather than dealing with any objective criteria. Apparently that
“Christian Heritage” local Republicans touted in the recent election wilts
under the slightest duress. It provides no shield or outrage against the high
incidence of child physical and sexual abuse, intimate partner violence, and
elder abuse that characterizes the culture here in the upper Shenandoah Valley.
Public safety? What about the enemy we know? Nary a whimper. Willful negligence.
“We are not aware of any specific
threat of harm to students. Some communications posed a risk of harm to school
officials. Others threatened significant protests on or near school property.”
– Augusta County Superintendent Dr. Eric Bond
afraid of our own shadows. Truth be known, Augusta County officials do not
trust the citizens to exercise their First Amendment rights or express
themselves without fear of violence. A strain of vigilantism surfaced here last
summer when some decided that it was their calling to protect a local military
recruiting station in the wake of an attack in Chattanooga, Tennessee despite
calls from the Pentagon for all such efforts to cease and desist. We have seen
the enemy and it is us.
administration hid the disappearance of evidence in the form of $4,000 cash from a drug case to achieve accreditation. The contentious race to be his
successor delivered a fellow to office with an underwhelming 34% vote of
confidence and likely less potential to correct what is beginning to look like
a very bad situation in the department. Wanting to demonstrate decisiveness, we
get an unqualified endorsement of the discredited Sheriff’s judgement from the
new and, odds-on, future one-term Sheriff.
Sheriff-elect Donald Smith said he supports the
decision made by Bond and Fisher, “110 percent.”– as reported in The News Virginian
Rockingham) enjoys disparaging the federal government but now he may find his Augusta County constituents in desperate need of the steady hand of the Justice Department. Landes
has made no mention of the disorder in his own local government; that wouldn’t
play well with the audience to which he panders. In a week when fear, hate,
loathing, and britches-wetting have characterized local behavior, another incident
is surfacing that also reflects badly on a local school district,
law enforcement, and local “values.”
student in a local school was the victim of a brutal
on-campus beat down by fellow students. He suffered a concussion and a broken
tooth or teeth. The unconscious young man was transported to the emergency
room. But it seems a 911 call was avoided. The story goes that supervisory personnel at
the school who knew about the incident either did not report it to the
Principal or the Principal chose to ignore it. Somehow, the school’s resource
officer was never made aware that the assault occurred.
who have managed to escape justice and are walking the halls of their school. They likely have quite the cred. Maybe the resource officer shares
a smoke or two with them to build rapport. But no outrage there.
As the new Sheriff might aver, it is 110% easier to deal
with hypotheticals than with reality.
UPDATE: The News Virginian reports that Sheriff elect Smith has hired a former Orange County Sheriff William D. Spence as his chief deputy. It will be interesting to see who the de facto Sheriff is.