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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Yeah, another update on the Ron Price fiasco

Quick primer for those who don't know what's going on: Ron Price, one of my fellow school board candidates, was caught in the act of stealing campaign signs on the evening of November 6th, the night before the election. The signs he stole belonged to U.S. House incumbent Brad Miller and Price was working on the rival Vernon Robinson campaign. Price later said he was just taking the Miller signs to the local DOT because they were illegally placed. Maybe that's so... but it doesn't explain why Price put Robinson signs in their place. Well, I didn't win a seat but Ron Price came in fifth so he's set to be sworn in to the Rockingham County Board of Education this coming Monday night. Since his act of larceny a lot of people have called for him to do the right thing and step aside (here's my open letter to Price). Price is refusing to do so. He even told at least one person that it was okay that he broke the law because "I was elected".

I reported last week about Price appearing in court. I didn't know at the time but Price pleaded "not guilty" to the criminal charges of endangering advertisements, which carries the same penalties as does being in possession of marijuana. It's worth noting that there's been a petition to be sent to the state board of education calling for Price's fitness to serve on the board be investigated by the county board: if the county board agrees that he broke the law, they would have to vacate his seat.

If Price had pled guilty that would have been substantial grounds for his removal from the board (provided the board does abide by state law in this matter). If he's found guilty in court that's going to look even worse for him. At least one person with knowledge of such matters has told me that in all likelihood, Price's goose is cooked because there's a high probability he'll be found guilty... assuming, of course, that the board adheres to the law if he is.

Meanwhile, more candidates from the school board race have weighed in and said that Price has no place on the school board. On his Reidsville Free Press website last week Jeff Sykes called for Price to step aside. And now former candidate Penny Owens has published an e-mail she recently sent to Price:

Realizing you may not have had a chance to review the school board policies with regard to what we expect from our students, I have taken the liberty of forwarding this portion of Policy 4300 to you. I am interested in your comments, although I am sure you will not respond. How ironic that you do not exhibit these qualities yourself, but our students are expected to and you will have a position of authority over our students as a member of the school board.
G. Integrity and Civility

All students are expected to demonstrate integrity, civility, responsibility and self control. This expectation is directly related to the board’s educational objectives for students to learn to be responsible for and accept the consequences of their behavior and for students to respect cultural diversity and ideological differences. Integrity, civility, responsibility and self control also are critical for establishing and maintaining a safe, orderly and inviting environment.

This is the heartmeat of the matter right here: the example that Ron Price, as a member of the school board, would be setting for the students of Rockingham County. How is it going to look to the children when they have someone who broke the law - and even admitted that he did it but brazenly refuses to be held accountable - who is running the schools they're in?

No doubt Price isn't going to do the right thing, and he's going to be sworn in on December 11th. But I have serious doubts that he'll be there for long. And even if he does manage to hold out, he's going to be a really lame member of the board in the minds of plenty enough people.

More as it develops...

EDIT 3:16 AM EST 12-8-2006: Price has changed his blog again. This time he's telling us to "Look for the complete and factual account of the sign incident on this web page in the near future." He's also already calling himself an "AT LARGE Member Rockingham County Board of Education. Dedicated to serving the students and citizens of Rockingham County"... nevermind the fact that there's still three and a half days before he's actually sworn in.

If the "complete and factual account" of the sign incident is still to come, why hasn't he shared it with us already? I mean, telling the truth shouldn't be the hardest thing to do in the world, especially for a Christian.

My take on this? We won't hear "complete and factual" from Price until it passes muster with his attorney.