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Perhaps it would be wise to do research before naming the new middle school in the Cedar Grove community. Once a school is named, it is open to scrutiny as to why the name was chosen. Surrounding counties are research-savvy when it comes to Brunswick County, and some of their recent findings have not been positive.
Schools in Brunswick County have received stinging press reviews, which include poor test scores and several inappropriate teacher/student relationship allegations.
The close scrutiny of the press has caused many people in surrounding areas and throughout the nation to question what is going on in Brunswick County. It is imperative to make logical, rational decisions to avoid the scrutiny of the media.
I listened to numerous discussions as to what the new school should be named, but I did not attend the public hearing on June 17.
Early in the process, I was neutral and did not endorse one school name over another. Everything changed when I read the Beacon news article, “Debate between Lockwood Folly and Cedar Grove.”
In reading the article, I felt the Cedar Grove community made the strongest argument for the naming of the school. The fact the school is being built in the Cedar Grove community and information shared by historian Christy Judah that cedar groves are indigenous to the area were persuasive arguments to name the school Cedar Grove Middle.
The confirmation that only three of 11 people spoke against naming the school Cedar Grove was also compelling. Those who attended the public hearing overwhelmingly recommended the school be named after the community in which it is being built.
The argument the school should be named Lockwood Folly was also an interesting debate, but a red flag went up when I read the comments of Bobby Gore, a Cedar Grove resident who said Webster’s Dictionary defines “folly” as a lack of good sense or a foolish act or idea.
These words captured my attention and inspired me to do some further research on the origins of the words “Lockwood Folly.”
I then contacted Gore and James Hobson Bryant, a longtime Cedar Grove resident, and I later talked with Jesse Bryant, a distinguished civil rights pioneer and legendary oral historian of the first order.
These gentlemen shared interesting insights on the mysterious history of Lockwood Folly.
Gore shared information on the origins of the name Lockwood Folly that is listed on the following Web site, www.lockwoodfollydrealty.net. It says the name Lockwood Folly is shrouded in mystery; some say Capt. Lockwood built a boat and it was too large to navigate through the inlet to sea.
Jesse Bryant said Lockwood’s original name was Lockwood Clemens, and some say the word folly was added to his name to denote the folly of building a boat that was too large to navigate through the inlet to the sea.
Lockwood Folly is a popular Brunswick County name; it is an excellent name for a river, a recreational center and for some real estate holdings. It is a friendly, inviting name that is a marketer’s dream.
It is a great name for a golf plantation or a recreational center, but based on the facts it is not an inappropriate name for a public school.
Brunswick County does not need to draw attention to itself by naming a school after a man who failed to calculate the correct math when he built a boat that was too large to navigate through the inlet to the sea.
The name folly does not need to be associated with our public schools. Brunswick County has had its share of negative press, and lots of it was due to a failure of making rational decisions. Public schools are too important to include the word folly in the naming of a school. Folly is the antithesis of education.
It has been emphasized that Lockwood Folly is a township; that is true but research shows Lockwood is the man behind the name.
The school board made a decision after the naming of Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary School that they would no longer name a school after a person. Lockwood Folly is forever linked to Capt. Lockwood Clemens, who lived in Brunswick County in the 16th century.
It is time to listen to Gore, Hobson Bryant and Jesse Bryant; they are some of the most capable and respected men in Brunswick County. They recommend the school be named Cedar Grove Middle.
The new school is being built in the Cedar Grove community; therefore, I support the majority of those who expressed themselves at the public hearing that the school be named Cedar Grove Middle.
If the school were being built in Varnamtown, Holden Beach or Town Creek, I would support a request the school be named after those communities.
It is important to note Cedar Grove is an integrated community that is home to a host of distinguished citizens such as storytellers, doctors, nurses, nurses’ assistants, chemists, biologists, tailors, seamstresses, barbers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, dock workers, truck drivers, lawyers, judges, writers, government workers, service workers, PhDs, Ed.Ds, valedictorians, mathematicians, computer program analysts, auto mechanics, politicians, vice presidents of major corporations, entertainers, singers, preachers, farmers, military personnel—both active-duty and veterans—business owners and a host of other professions that include assistant school superintendents, principals, assistant principals, teachers and teacher assistants.
Cedar Grove has made significant contributions to Brunswick County and the nation.
micheal darby of Supply has master's degree in divinity and religious education. He is the pastor of New Mount Zion Baptist Church.For more information, visit his Web site at http://bigceousa.org.