randkcarter 1 year, 9 months ago on Albany Herald Letters Policy

The situation at Pelham Elementary, needs to be investigated thoroughly. I know Buddy Edwards personally; he was one of my teachers when I was younger. He had a big impact on my life. Edwards taught his students that if one sees that something is wrong and can do something about it then one does. He taught us not to sit back and watch an injustice occur; it is our duty to crusade against the wrong and make it right. The kind of behavior that has been portrayed in the police reports is not one that he taught, condoned, or exhibited. He is a good, honest, passionate, caring, Christian man who loves all children and fights injustice.

With that being said, there is a lot going on at PES that is not right. Mr. Edwards knew this and stood up and told anyone that would listen what was going on which made him unpopular with those who were doing wrong or allowing the wrong things to go on. However, it seems that school officials didn't want the problem areas pointed out. Perhaps that is why the administration handled the problem as they did which escalated the situation. Every good teacher or administrator knows how to de-escalate a problem and therefore they also know how to exacerbate it. Also, one must remember that a police report is one-sided; it contains what the complainants say happened. Now it has been reported that Mr. Edwards may be fired. What about the incompetence that allowed this situation to happen? Are the parties responsible also going to be fired?

Although I graduated from Pelham City Schools, I felt that I had no choice but to remove my daughter from kindergarten because the academic rigor was not there and the needed curriculum was not there. I am now homeschooling my daughter with the state-sponsored k-12 program and she has learned more in the past four months than the entire time she was at Pelham.

When investigating this school system, look into how many students have transferred out of Pelham this year for reasons other than moving to a different town. Check out where the teachers are sending their children. If 99% of the teachers are not sending their children to the school or system where they are teaching, then this is a good indicator that something is wrong with the school system. According to the Georgia Department of Education's website, PES, did not make AYP for the 2010-11 school year.

I implore the citizens of Pelham, Mitchell County, and anyone with an interest in the future of our children to investigate Pelham City Schools, especially PES, and get to the bottom of this travesty. Mr. Edwards is an excellent teacher, who if he acted in the manner described was pushed in to it. I for one, do not believe that the whole story is out and I have been told by teachers at PES that they are under a "gag" order by the administration so the truth may never come out. Do not let a good man's reputation be ruined and do not let our children's future suffer because of mismanagement of the staff and curriculum.