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P?Hihi< Ertry Tkwwhv at Rarfarrf, N.C. 24376
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SabacripOoa RaMa la Adraaca
P?r Year ? S8.00 6 Month. - $4.25 3 Moatlu ? $2.25
PAUL DICKSON *
SAM C. MORRIS
MRS. PAUL DICKSON Soctrt; Editor
Second Class Postage at Raeford, N.C.
THURSDAY, MAY 5, 1977
The Hoke School Situation..
% Paul Dickson
It might be well for Hoke County people to take stock of the
situation in the county school system right away, and see if they
think damaging mistakes have been made, or that mistakes are
likely to be made which could have a lasting bad effect on the
system. Persons who do think so can do most to save the situation by
making their feelings known now to their appointed and elected
officials in the educational system.
We would make clear at the outset our feeling that no one involved
has been motivated by anything but a desire to do what was and is
best for the school system. Honest mistakes, however, like lies, can
sometimes create -a climate or an environment which leads to more
mistakes. Actions following a mistake of judgment are sometimes
taken under pressure to correct the first mistake, or to minimize it in
the eyes of the public, so these actions with the best of us sometimes
get less than our usual objective consideration.
There are those who say that County Superintendent Raz Autry's
decision to get rid of Allen Edwards was a mistake. It is our feeling
that no one unfamiliar with the manner of performance of Edwards
and Autry can say with much authority -- strong feelings, yes, but
not authority - that this was a mistake, because Autry's job requires
that he evaluate the performance of principals and recommend to
the board their retention or dismissal.
The original mistake in this affair was Superintendent Autry's
recommendation of denial of tenure for Principal Edwards without
having complete facts on Edwards' career status, for whatever
In Superintendent Autry's statement to the Board of Education,
he referred to Edwards as "a fine, capable young man," and said he
did not question his morals or his capabilities. His stated reasons for
asking denial of tenure to Edwards dealt with Edwards' "lack of
credibility with the faculty, his inconsistency in dealing with students
and public, his being unavailable to his students and to his faculty,
his disregard for keeping appointments." These charges were
withdrawn after it became apparent that Edwards already had
tenure, but Autry still recommended that Edwards be replaced as
high school principal, insisting that his charges were serious ones
and expressing his amazement that many people don't agree with
So, to compound the first mistake, the board made a decision to
move Edwards to Upchurch junior high school and to move
Principal Earl Oxendine from Upchurch to Hoke High. They
indicated further that after a year he could reapply for the Hoke
High position, apparently implying that he would have a chance at
that time to get the job back. This momentous decision, incidentally,
was made by only three-fifths of the board the people elected to run
their school system. The chairman, Robert Gibson, was present,
along with the two newest members of the board, Ruth McNair and
Mina Townsend. Two veteran members of the board, W.L. Howell
and Dr. Riley M. Jordan, were not present for this action, which
many consider among the most important to be taken by the board.
The selection of Earl Oxendine as Hoke High principal was not
because he was qualified, and this is not to say that he is not, but was
simply for expediency -- if they move Edwards to Upchurch they
have to put Oxendine somewhere, they have to keep him too. It is a
fact that two years ago when Edwards was employed Oxendine was
available if they had thought him the best man for the job. Again
emphasizing that we have nothing against Oxendine, we think the
people of the county are entitled to the best man who can be found .
for the job at the high school, and not just to having it filled by
someone who happens to be around.
As we understand it, the county will have to supplement
Oxendine's pay several thousand dollars in the Hoke High job
because Edwards can't be cut for the smaller school job. This
expenditure of their money will certainly be subject to some question
by the people who pay the taxes, and we are among those who think
its approval as a budget hem by the county board of education and
the countY commissioners may be subject to legal question.
Many citizens feel that Autry's charges against Edwards amount
to nothing more than a personality conflict between the two, and
that Autry never could quit being principal after he became
superintendent; that as the charges don't involve character or ability
the situation could be corrected by leadership and counsel on the
part of the superintendent.
Others say that Autry doesn't work for the board of education;
they work for him, and we did notice a few signs of dominant
personality in the Las Vegas business some months ago.
We can't suggest the answers to these problems, and we can only
express regret that the people of the county are not getting the full
benefit of the experience and new blood and openmindedness they
thought they were electing to the board of education. We do know
that the members of this board are tfem because they ? trad the
people to p?t them there, and that ti*y*e*e the obligation to sweat
and pray and whatever else it takes to work this mess out and to Mart
running oar school system ffift jO0bM?Q**fey.
We remiaid school board mwbrri and school officials again that
they ate servants of the pobfic and that the schools belong to the
by Marly Vt?a
More Loose Talk
u_T?e henvy tax on gasoline which
has been proposed by the President
will mean very serious conse
quences for just about everybody if
it goes through.
??"Ve y?" considered the
effects this could have on the local
P"ss 'n R?eford? Since this writer
and the other friendly local news
reporter, S.H. Aplin, both "53
over in Fayettevilfe, the imposition
Vax Wi" Probab,y end our
7' what driving
/UU-pIus miles a week.
Now, some of you mav sav
Pshaw. But there are others in the
same boa;, not really the same
to r.5f i same who live
in Kaeford and commute to Fay
^ ?? won'f hc,P us. Will
you help them? (If you won't help
us. you can t help them, because iT
you help them you'll be helping us,
he^in?U ?an t ** that> 1 cant
eJl1'.n8 to do is try and set
eJficient mass transit in here.
Ffyetteville could be
built and people could pay some
?. ?lr' ke 75 .cents- 50 cents
would be even fairer.
About this time of the year, a
short while after income tax paying
time, somebody comes out with a
demand to simplify the tax forms
and everybody agrees; that is.
everybody except lawyers and other
people who get paid for filling in
the forms. *
One economist who had trouble
wvtne"tanding the complicated
1040 instructions which send you
trom one page to another and then
back again, in language not even
clear to the man who wrote it, came
out with a simple plan. He says to
throw out all the forms, the
deductions, the credits, etc.. and
just tax everybody 10 percent of his
income, regardless of what it is. He
claims this will bring in about the
same tax revenue as the present
complicated system, not to mention
how much cofTee it'll save for
people who stay up late April 15
sweating over the thing.
This plan is far too simple for the
government to consider. The gov
ernment isn't interested in some
thing unless it's unreasonable.
The plan, however, is sound
only it doesn't go far enough.'
instead of taxing 10 percent of your
total income, it ought to tax 10
Pe^ent of what you have left at the
end of the year. This would suit
everybody except those with a
million-dollar income. They like
the present system.
??.1NoW f^emment will argue
this wouldn t b*ve it enough to
operate om. The same argument
be turned the other way: the
preeent tax system doesn't leave
either Pe?Pl< enou*h to operate on
But we're all facing days of
austerity, we ve been told, and the
foment shouldn't be exempt,
?? beta' J? a&^bU
f Mag faetf ? J4 percent ra ki.
, Yomrt faithfully,
If people would object to a
monorail for aesthetic reasons, let
them make it a subway instead. Or
they can see their doctors. We don't
care. But a monorail would make
for a more scenic ride.
This could become a reality, if
enough people would just get out
If it doesn't, the alternatives are
grim. Your friends in the media
will have to go begging for dimes in
the street, or we will have to buy
one of Clarence Lytch's mules for
making the trip back and forth.
Depending on the price, the
latter might be the most workable
alternative, as it has been stated
down at the restaurant, I'm told,
that this would be a very appropri
ate form of transportation for the
press, as it would be hard to tell one
from the other.
* * ?
To Preacher Lee, who phoned
our office last week to make
objections to the proposed massage
parlor downtown, you can set your
mind at rest.
I'm sorry I wasn't in the office to
speak to you directly, but the
information the secretary gave you
You needn't worry about the old
Maultsby home becoming a mas
sage parlor. It seems there is a
little-known regulation which pro
hibits such a business from within
50 feet of a filling station. It is
believed that the combination there
could be an explosive hazard, what
with such volatile activities associ
ated with those enterprises.
So we're presently scouting for
another location around town, and
we'll keep you informed.
By Robert E. Lee
Sponsored by The Lawyers of
i North Carolina i 1
A husband, although he knows
where his wife is living, alleges that
she deserted him two years ago and
that her present address is
unknown and, therefore, obtains a
divorce in North Carolina.
Because the wife was not in
formed of the divorce proceeding
she may have the divorce decree set
aside - if she acts within a
resonable time after learning of the
The wife never had" her "day in
court" because the untruthfulness
of the husband prevented her from
appearing and making a proper
Even if the husband remarries,
the first wife may set aside the
divorce decree, and if she does, the
second wife is without a husband.
The first wife may not be able to
make the man return and live with
her, but she can require him by
court order to support her.
| Letters To The Editor
1 agree that it is time Hoke
County citizens show more interest
and make a special effort to attend
the county board of education
meetings. Listen and observe their
views and actions. Are these
members really interested in our
students and their parents? You
voted them into office *? it's your
duty to talk to them. Let them
know that your views on school
matters should be just as important
as the chairman of the board, or
the superintendent. We are not
"curiosity seekers", but a pat on
the back and a big roaring hello"
on the streets is not enough from
our superintendent anymore.
Mr. Autry has stated that the
public does not realize the serious
ness of the four charges made
against Mr. Edwards. I really think
the board members themselves do
not realize the seriousness of their
own charges - or each one of them
would have made a special effort to
be at all these meetings. Instead
thev have chosen to leave the voting
"of such serious charges" to the
newest and least experienced
Even the chairman (Mr. Gibson)
stated in our April 28 News- Journal
that not being an educator he did
not feel qualified to have an
opinion of his own. Why not? Is it
because his wife is in the school
system, or is it that he is
overpowered, as many others seem
to be, by our superintendent. If he
has no opinion of his own, why
should he be allowed to vote? We
have tried to teach our children to
say, "I'm sorry" -? "IV# made a
mistake". So in view of all that has
happened in the last few weeks, it's
time for our board and superin
tendent to swallow "Mr. Pride"
and say, "Thank you, students and
parents, for helping us see our
mistake". Hoke County citizens
have been through a lot together
over the years so we can certainly
work this problem out better than
the results we've heard so far. If
not, I for one hope you readers will
not forget this at election time.
Know more about the one you're
voting for-and a campaign smile
and speech should not be enough.
We don't need any more "yes" men
governing our schools. R?ii? ubw,
your taxes aid for the new county
education building -? you voted for
the members. So be there the first
Monday night of each month for
the meetings. Not as "curosity
seekers" but interested in our
schools as parents and students.
Rt. 4, Box 104
I attended the last three Hoke
County Board of Education meet
ings with a great deal of interest,
and had concluded the School
Board and Superintendent had not
given the public adequate informa
The one topic in Washington
that dominates everything else at
present is Energy.
President (farter, of course,
turned the national attention to
energy when he went before the
Congress a few nights ago and
announced that unless we started
using less energy and Finding new
methods to produce energy that the
nation and the world will be in
trouble in a few years.
Probably one of the hardest tasks
the President faces as he asks
Americans to modify their life style
is in setting the public to believe
that there is, indeed, a danger of
running short of energy by 1985.
The people are suspicious, and h
must be acknowledged that they
have causc to be skeptical. Many
feel that they were ripped off when
the government, under a previous
administration, sold huge quanti
ties of wheat to Russia at favorable
prices and the cost of bread jumped
at the supermarket. Many reel they
were hit in the pocket book need
lessly when the price of oil more
than tripled in 1974 as the result of
the international oil cartel. They
remember the recent sugar short
age when the price of sugar rose to
outlandish figures and they wonder
if the same thing isn't happening
now with coffee.
Furthermore, the real crunch is
energy probably won't occur for
another ten years or so, and it is
hard to get some people concerned
about something that Car in the
But the President was taking his
? .1 Hinijl mAAm fMtdfl Anna
garnering wyrio wiae mwiri|iiicc
and that is the Central Inttflfence
Agency. No matter what mistakes
f thev mav ha *
tion on the actions concerning
status of Allen Edwards
principal of Hoke County Hiw (
School. However, after the school
board meeting Monday night, May
2, 1977 many questions were
answered satisfactorily for the first
time by Chairman Gibson and
Superintendent Autry. It is
unfortunate they watted so long to
answer these pertinent questions.
I still do not agree with the
decisions made in this matter, or
the manner in which it was
handled; but 1 feel the Superin
tendent and Board Members were
individually sincere in their actions
and earnestly feel they acted in
what they think is in the best
interest of education in Hoke
County. This is exactly what they
were hired or elected to do.
I am reassured in the fact we
have some truly dedicated in
dividuals directing our school
system who I respect and pledge my
Eric W. Vann
540 College Dr.
We, the undersigned students,
feel very strongly about what is
happening to our principal.
rtrst of all, we would like tp
know why he cannot stay in hLs
present position. The Board of
Education said he had a contribu- 1
tion to make in the Hoke Couqtf '
School System. Why can he not>
make it at the high school? If
Secondly, why should two
schools be disrupted not only ;
during this transfer, but the
transfer to take place the next year? ?
These disruptions are not neces
sary. The Board of Education says ?
they are concerned about our >
welfare. These disruptions would f
be detrimental to our welfare.
We begin to question the values
that we are learning from this
situation. We are being taught that
power is always right, even when it
People tell us that we should be
proud of Hoke County High School
and our community. We have very
little to be proud of now. We are
ashamed of what the Board of]
Education is doing to our principal.
Becky Coker L
Dick McNeil? '
John R. Mcintosh
by Senator Robert Morgan
their zeal to protect this country's
interest - actions that were taken
on orders from higher authority --
the CIA's agents have the highest
capability to get and evaluate the
facts about the world's energy now
and in the future.
Because of its sophisticated in
struments and its world wide
sources of information, it seems to '
me that we cannot disregard the
CIA's evaluation of the energy
outlook to 1985, which is just eight
"In the absence of greatly in- j
creased energy conservation," says j
the CIA report, "projected world j
demand for oil will approach
productive capacity by the early
1980s and substantially exceed
capacity by 1985." That simply
means that by 1985 the world will
not be producing as much oil as it is
using and well all be in trouble.
There is much more to the
report, but given that simple
assessment, there seems to be
ample justification for the Presi
dent to call upon the country to
start conserving now.
There will be some real battles,
no doubt, as Congress seeks to
eone up with a program that will
work and which will be fair to
everyone. The large oil companies
have already started to attack the
Carter program, and the automo-?
bile manufacturers will also be
unhappy. There will be other
groups with their own interests.
But If there to to be a workable
program at All, then the great*
majority of the American
together to conquer tt.Just as they