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If you’re going to start it, finish it

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

It was an anti-climactic ending to a long, drawn-out media circus.

In last week’s Beacon, education reporter Kathryn Jacewicz wrote that the two parties in an ongoing, public feud over treatment of students in Brunswick County Schools reached a “confidential agreement” and agreed to have no further contact with each other.

Like most of the readers who have been following this debacle, I was annoyed by this conclusion.

This matter has been played out in the Beacon for months, with a mother accusing a school official of wrongdoing and seeking justice for her family, and, eventually both sides ended up accusing the other of threatening acts.

It resulted in a lot of comments on our Web site, with accusations being lobbied back and forth. Although school officials never officially commented on the incident, those who supported the principal rallied around her and made an even bigger deal of the whole thing.

Then, finally, when readers and supporters of both sides finally believed they were going to see a public resolution to this nasty business in court, the principal and the parent clammed up and decided to reach a “confidential agreement.”

I am in favor of people going through the proper channels and making complaints if they feel they have been shortchanged or harmed, and, of course, I see nothing wrong about going to the media with your complaints, either.

People are entitled to stand up for their rights and the rights of their children to be educated in a proper environment.

But to go through all that trouble and, dare I say it, drama, just to reach a “confidential agreement” is a little insulting to the readers and supporters who have championed your cause throughout the whole process.

I hope something good came out of this whole mess. I hope any teacher or assistant who behaved inappropriately was punished or removed. If a proper investigation revealed no wrongdoing in the matter, I hope that is made public.

There is no more precious gift than your children, and if I believed my child was being harmed in any way, shape or form at her school, I would be screaming from the rooftops, as well.

If I were a principal or other school employee being accused of something I didn’t think was true, I would be doing the same thing to protect my good name, especially if I had numerous supporters and detractors speaking out about my behavior.

Either way, I would feel I owed my supporters a reasonable explanation for ending my very public battle, even if I couldn’t go into the specifics.

I realize it’s very easy to judge from the sidelines, but this fight was in the media and open to criticism. It deserves a resolution.