Don't spare the Rod
Hello, I'm a parent who had Rod [Manuel] as a principal at West End Middle ("Sagging spirits and martial law at once-proud Hillsboro High," April 16). He was terrible. I never understood why they moved him to Hillsboro.
When I complained about his behavior to Marsha Warden—at that time school board rep—her response was "not Rod." She did end up helping me with my problem. As a result, Rod said, "You told on me," and I said I would do it again if I needed.
What is interesting about the story is the teachers' dislike of him. I felt like all he ever did was protect the teachers. Also, the teacher in the story that is worried about being fired must not have tenure. Trying to fire a teacher with tenure is a joke.
A change for the worse
Hillsboro has made a change for the worse since the arrival of Rod Manuel. He goes out of his way to mistreat black students and teachers to prove that he is not a racist. He also yells and screams at teachers and is perpetuating the same climate of fear and intimidation that originated with Dr. Pedro Garcia.
The school culture was so great. It is now very dysfunctional. School culture plays an important role in student academic achievement. I understand the need for number crunching, but that alone will not lead to academic success. What happened to Rigor, Relevance and Relationships?
Mr. Manuel is no more than a dumb jock who has no clue about academic achievement, research, data or curriculum. He was given that job by Dr. Garcia because he is a dictator with an edge who enjoys abusing power. We have to get back to hiring administrators who care about kids, appreciate teachers and have the charisma, competence and courage to run our schools in a safe, friendly, professional and efficient manner. Get Manuel out of there before it is too late.
Scene's sensationalist bubble
I'm shocked to find journalism of such shoddy quality. Of your three named sources, two are students speaking on hearsay and rumor. I am a teacher at Hillsboro High School, and can say with assurance that the quotes from your sources, with the exception of Ms. Bradshaw, are not credible. Did you fact-check at all?
What you have printed is the heavy-handed and clumsy bluster of teenage boys. "Two Bloods jumped a Crip"? That's cafeteria talk. Well, I heard that Tammy's dumping Tom so she can go to prom with Brad. Will I find that in City Limits next week?
I am constantly disappointed by the tone of our community's reporting on public high schools. Wonderful things happen at Hillsboro, and not a day goes by when the students don't make me smile with their sheer vibrancy. And yet all we hear from the papers and newscasts are stories about violence, sexual misconduct by the tiniest fraction of teachers, and now a scoop on the prison-like conditions at Hillsboro.
I'm sorry to burst your sensationalist bubble, but apart from the cinder block walls—blame the city budget for that—Hillsboro couldn't be anything less like a prison. Yes, students fight, as they have since the dawn of time. That does not necessarily mean that gangs are involved, despite vaguely racist notions to the contrary. In fact, I would say that Hillsboro is one of the most authentically—and successfully—racially integrated communities in all of Nashville.
The sensationalistic quality of your piece is almost stomach-turning. Three columns of unfounded, un-researched, non-credited allegation-making, followed by a lame admission that, gee whiz, perhaps our principal is just "catching flak for doing his job." If that was the conclusion you were winding up for, why drag us through the rumor mill in the first place?
I did learn one thing from your article: from now on skip directly to the back of the paper for the music listings, and forego the journalism entirely.
I approached Max Watts when he was photographing the two students fighting. I asked him to put his phone away. He refused. At Hillsboro, the photographing of others' misfortune is not considered elitist but exploitative. We do not exploit others. Max must have misunderstood this important lesson.
Studio Art Teacher
Hillsboro High School
Mean streets of the 'Vue
In your April 16 issue, Don and Roxie Brunetti's letter is as typical as it gets from the anti-gun crowd (Love/Hate Mail).
Should the Brunetti family ever find themselves in a situation where a deranged person were to open fire in their immediate vicinity, they would then be very glad to have a concealed handgun carry permit holder such as myself close by. Living in a semi-shielded area such as Franklin probably affords one the luxury of not fully understanding the whole "if we outlaw guns, only outlaws will have them" refrain. But I do not want my right to defend myself and my family infringed upon by liberal Pollyannas prone to misunderstandings.
We can't all live in the best neighborhoods, so we can't all have the same life experiences regarding a need for self-protection.
Beer from now on
Since the association representing liquor stores is so set against the competition (and convenience) if grocery stores are allowed to sell wine, it is time for the consumer to display the power of the purse ("Morning Roundup," Pith in the Wind, April 16).
I will no longer purchase anything in a liquor store until the legislature changes the law to benefit consumers rather than the liquor store lobby. I suggest that anyone who would like the convenience of buying wine where you buy food—as well as the more favorable pricing—do the same. Let's see how long it will take a serious decline in sales (as well as diminished liquor/wine taxes) to get the laws changed to reflect the needs of consumers rather than lobbyists and retailers.
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