Roses and thorns: 8-25-19

August 24, 2019 10:48:08 PM



A rose to high school football, which kicked off the 2019 season on Friday throughout the Golden Triangle. Friday's games are a reward for the hard summer weeks of work and practice, not only for the players but for band members and cheerleaders, too. Thousands of players, band members, cheerleaders, students, parents and community members turned out for the games. While many more games will follow, there is only one season-opener, which adds a festive atmosphere to the games unlike those that follow. These are truly community events and, as such, are celebrations. So, win or lose, we applaud all the teams and their supporters. It's going to be a great season.



A rose to the Lowndes County School District Board of Trustees for holding a public forum Thursday as it continues its search for its Superintendent of Schools. A recent state law requires that superintendents be appointed rather than elected. With the aid of the Mississippi School Board Association, the district has compiled a list of candidates. Current superintendent Lynn Wright is the only candidate who has been identified, however, which turned the forum into a debate of Wright's leadership rather than the intended purpose of determining what qualities citizens value in the next superintendent. About 50 residents attended and the crowd appeared to be equally divided among those who support Wright, who has twice been elected as superintendent, and those opposed to Wright's return. Even so, we applaud the Board for allowing citizens a chance to be involved in this process and urge the board to provide the public with more opportunities to share their views as the process continues.




A rose to those who turned out for Tuesday's special election to fill the Ward 4 seat on the Columbus City Council. Kegdra Gibbs-Gray and Pierre D. Beard Sr. emerged from a field of six candidates and will square off in a run-off of Sept. 10. Only 516 voters turned out for Tuesday's election, so we encourage all registered voters in Ward 4 to turn out for the run-off. Every voter's voice should be heard. Meanwhile, we applaud the six candidates who have qualified to run for the Ward 1 council position, which opened when councilman Gene Taylor died on Aug. 5. That election will be held Sept. 24. Again, we encourage every registered voter in Ward 1 to go to the polls to select their representative on the council.



A thorn to the unnamed part-time tutor and 11 Mississippi State athletes who violated academic rules by allowing the tutor to do work in an online chemistry class for the athletes. In a statement, MSU Athletics Director acknowledged the cheating and said his department would take full responsibility for what amounts to academic fraud. There are no innocent parties. The tutor may have done the work, but the 10 football players and one basketball player had to know that allowing someone to do their work was clearly wrong. Among the penalties, which include loss of scholarships and a probation period, the players will face game suspensions. While we don't yet know how many games will be missed, the students should accept that decision as the consequence of their wrong acts. It should serve as a warning to others as well. Academic fraud is a serious matter. Let this be a warning.