Rock Hill #045; modern Hatfield, McCoy feud

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 2, 2004

The Tribune editorial staff

The infamous Hatfield and McCoy feud has nothing on the Rock Hill Local School District.

Just when Rock Hill residents, parents and students thought it was safe to raise their heads again after the latest round of legal gunfire, the shooting started again this week.

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At the heart of the Rock Hill feud is one man, Lloyd Evans. He has been superintendent in the district for more than a quarter century.

In the simplest terms, Evans wants to continue being superintendent of the district and three members of the school board want him to leave.

For months they've battled - in court and in the hearts, minds and in the gossip skirmishes. And rarely in the debates has the focus of the discussion turned to the most important part of the debate - what's best for the students in the district.

Young people learn from our examples. And in the Rock Hill district the example being set is one in which you don't seek to find a compromise, you simply blindly fight to the death. No issue is colored gray in the district; all are black and white and you're either 110 percent on my side or you are my life's enemy.

At times civility is lost in the process. When grown men and women - at least in age - scream at each other in public meetings, something is wrong.

Now the latest battle lines have been drawn. A group of citizens - led by several vocal Evans supporters - has vowed to remove three of the school board members. The board members, on the other hand, say they still have options to remove Evans - which seems their lone crusade.

And only when it is convenient for each side to support its case is the good of the students mentioned.

Unfortunately, judging by the lackluster performance of the district on state testing, the focus should be on the students. Rock Hill is easily the district flush with the most money. Unfortunately money doesn't buy civility or logic. The district has been operating for a couple of years, apparently, in state-of-the-art buildings and facilities but using old - more than a decade old in some cases - textbooks.

Where's the logic there? Ask past generations of the Hatfields and McCoys the same question and we'd bet the answer would be the same - silence.