Response to newspaper’s handling of letter

Published 6:07 am Saturday, October 20, 2018

My recent letter to the editor has now been “corrected” twice because the two Danville School board candidates about whom I wrote have complained.

The publisher of this paper, Michael Caldwell, has a policy of not publishing letters from candidates. If this policy did not exist, Aaron Etherington and Michael Strysick would have the option to rebut what I wrote in my letter.

To be fair, they had no option than to complain about what I wrote.  Of course, they could have sat in silence and allowed the infinitesimal ripple to pass, which is what mature, seasoned leaders do. However, they didn’t, so here we are.

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I stated in my original letter that Etherington said he wished he hadn’t allowed a former school board chairman to talk him into running for the board. I hypothesized that maybe he didn’t even want to be on the school board. What I should have said was someone told me that he made that statement. Did he say it, or did he not? It doesn’t really matter. His reaction to this exemplifies why he has no business on the school board. Is he going to run to the publisher every time something is written that hurts his feelings?

As for Strysick, he complained when I wrote that he stated he would be in and out of the superintendent’s office. He stated, “I am not going to help Dr. Shelton if I keep myself at arm’s length from her.” This statement led me to believe he would be in and out of the superintendent’s office. To his point, the role of the school board is to stay at arm’s length and allow the superintendent room to do her job. We’ve had too many board members who did not understand their role. Our superintendent needs room to do her job.

The publisher has set an interesting precedent for his newspaper. Now that these two candidates have successfully complained and had letters to the editor “corrected,” where does this stop? When I spoke to Caldwell about the Strysick “correction,” it appeared that my letter was being held to the journalistic standard of a front-page article, as opposed to a letter to the editor.

All this apoplectic pearl clutching confirms my original thesis: Etherington nor Strysick have the skills required to sit on the Danville School board. And Caldwell has opened Pandora’s Box. Good luck with that.

Elaine Wilson-Reddy