Damn ridiculous

Update:  In the comments to this N&R letter to the editor, “Oak Ridge Runner” has this (and more) to say about what I had to say in my column regarding the donation that helped get Aycock’s drumline outfitted with drums back in ’04.

“…he is so dishonest about it, that he neglects to mention that the $10,000 that was donated that made it possible came from the Southwest High area parents, and a substantial portion of that, anonymously, from School Board candidate Garth Hebert, which Hoggard is well aware, even though he always bashes Hebert every chance he gets.”

To which I replied, now that the cat is out of the bag…

“I was not being dishonest, Oak. I was specifically asked by Garth to keep his anonymous donation exactly that…anonymous… but since you brought it up, Garth was by far the largest part of the $8600 donation. I have thanked him for it… in private.”

I wrote this acknowledgement at the time of the donation, which was made through the auspicies of ABC of Guilford County.  Since his generosity has been “outed” I am pleased to finally thank Garth publicly.  And, for the record, he has continued to unselfishly support the Aycock drumline since the intitial donation.


I’ve been writing about the successes of Aycock and Welborn Middle Schools’ after-school drumlines for several years.  Back in August ’04, I wrote about a spontaneous meeting of the two ‘lines downtown following a parade and how much good was coming from both programs.  I quoted Dr. V as saying, even then, “…this is the best thing in the world for these kids.”

Sunday’s N&R profile of Welborn’s Dr. Van and her protege’ triggered my exasperation as to why our school board refuses to see the value of such programs, so I decided to bring the issue up again in my bi-weekly column.

The original opening line of the column was: “It is just damn ridiculous that our school board can’t see it.”  But thinking better of it, I deleted that before emailing my draft to Allen Johnson at the N&R.

Another thing I did before sending in my final draft was to walk down the street and speak to Jimmy Cheek, Aycock’s choral DRUMLINE2.JPGteacher and drumline instigator.  I wanted to make sure my claim that Guilford County Schools has contributed no money to his three year-old project is still true.  It is.  When I asked Jimmy how much money has been received from the school system to keep his drumline going over the years, his answer was quick and pissed, “Not a damn penny.  Now don’t get me started….”  But apparently it was too late for that.

He went on to tell me of all the letters of recognition and congratulations he has recieved from individuals and governing bodies including the governor’s office, our City Council, U.S. Senators, …and the list went on.  But he said he has never received so much as a simple “thank you” from anyone at our Board of Education offices.

I now wish I had left my opening line as it was.  It IS damn ridiculous.

This entry was posted in Guilford County Schools. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Cindy Jolly
    Posted May 24, 2006 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Preach on Buddy. I am in an alternative school in Forsyth County that is doing something different with “those kids.” I have contact numerous dignitaries of GCS to share some ideas as to what can be done with “those kids” in Guilford County… I have received a
    couple of token responses, but that’s as far as it goes. David, if you know how we can be more proactive in helping “those kids” in GCS,please let me know and sign me up.
    Take care, Cindy Jolly

  2. debora mauser
    Posted May 24, 2006 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    I agree that drum lines and extra activities need to be supported! At each school the leadership team decides how to spend money from GCS. Does none of that go for these programs? If not, it should. At our school we give chorus, band orchestra money yearly. Ask about that David! I was appalled at how much we spent on licensed music sheets!

  3. Posted June 1, 2006 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    What’s ridiculous is they we keep re-electing these people, who claim to have the best interest of the children as their goal.