Not even Web poll is safe in Rock Hill feud

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 5, 2005

The warring factions in the Rock Hill School District need to start thinking about the children instead of acting like children.

For years, the Rock Hill district has been at odds over the issue of who is best to lead the district. One side, recently headed up by former board member Rich Donohue continues to assert that long-time superintendent Lloyd Evans is the man for the job and is gearing up efforts to remove some board members, who Donohue feels have abused their school board offices.

The other faction, headed up by current board president Lavetta Sites, maintains that the board followed the law when it voted to remove Evans and eventually hired an interim superintendent.

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The issue has been argued extensively in court, and will again. All the while, the children of district remain caught in the middle of the ugly feud that seemingly serves no greater good.

Further proof that even the simplest of things becomes a battleground can be found in our Internet poll. The poll simply seeks public input on a variety of issues and is not meant to be scientific or concrete evidence of anything. It's purpose is mostly to generate discussion and thought by our online readers.

But that does not stop some from taking it far too seriously. Last week, the poll question asked, "Should three Rock Hill School Board members Lavetta Sites, Paul Johnson and Wanda Jenkins be removed from office?"

Boy did it get a response. At last count, 2,776 people voted that the members should be removed while 2,523 stated they should stay. Forty six people were unsure.

Sounds like this really hit home with thousands of Web users? Not so fast. The poll is designed to allow only one vote to be cast from any computer.

However, like anything else in life, there are ways to cheat if you are willing to try hard enough.

While our site receives thousands of readers each day, most do not stop to answer the poll. The Rick Hill vote seems suspicious in part because the vote counts were thousands more than is typical.

So it looks like people, perhaps on both sides of the issue, have found the digital version of steroids and are stuffing the ballot.

Do these people have nothing better to do? If half as much energy was spent thinking about ways the district could move ahead, Rock Hill would have some of the brightest, most forward-thinking people in the entire state.

But instead, the petty name-calling, mud slinging war continues like a playground battle between second-graders.

No, wait, that is insulting to elementary children. After all, they know better.