Two stories of conflict, two different outcomes

Published 8:54 am Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Dear Editor,

I would like to share a tale of two conflicts:

In one, a group of elected officials charged with independent action and with making decisions in keeping with the needs of ALL students, urged on from outside forces voicing negative opinions and personal agendas. This group totally ignores a large group voicing confidence and positive attributes of the individual in question. They insult individuals, ignore information presented, refuse to answer questions and stonewall against ideas that conflict with their own agenda. On acts independently of the others. They claim to “want the best for all students.” Their actions speak otherwise. What is left is suspicion, anger and division.

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In the second situation, a group of college students saw concerns and presented them to the institution in question. Some issues were challenging and troubling. Over a period of three days, the troubled group demonstrated peacefully, communicated effectively. The institution listened and eventually the two groups came together. These two groups worked together as a team, coming together with differing opinions but with common purpose. That purpose was to change a culture that was not meeting the needs of all students. At the end of three long days, a solution was reached and while neither side got everything they wanted, compromise and progress happened.

These stories are about the recent issues of the Danville Board of Education over the non-renewal of Dr. Keith Look’s contract and the students of Centre College expressing concern of discrimination. Which true story has the most positive ending? Centre College and their students ended with progress and showed how working together brings best results. The actions of the Danville school board have created division, suspicion and feelings of hidden agendas, not keeping with “All Means All.” Which solution would you prefer?

Debbie Bottoms