A rant sent in Wednesday afternoon reads:
Who wrote Wednesday’s editorial? People are always complaining about folks not signing rants, but the school board’s mouth, The Observer, won’t sign THEIR name to editorials which are blatantly bias against Coach Rush Propst! This paper is a sham. I know for a fact that many rants have been sent in support of Propst, but not printed, why?
It asks questions that deserve an answer.
The editorial we ran on Wednesday was written by Managing Editor Kevin Hall, as nearly every editorial labeled as “Our Opinion” is — including this one. I consulted with the general manager and the publisher, who signed off on the editorial, but the words were mine.
I do not believe the editorial was biased against Coach Propst. I specifically listed several ways in which he has made our football team successful and ways in which he has improved the lives of his players.
Of the editorial’s 16 paragraphs, five were nothing but praise for the former head coach. Only three describe the board of education’s investigation and its vote to relieve him of coaching duties.
The point of the editorial — one of two points, actually — was that there is no event, no sudden change of heart, no pristine report from the Professional Standards Commission that will cause the Colquitt County Board of Education to rehire Propst after relieving him of his coaching duties last month — especially now that they’ve hired someone else to do that job.
Believing they would is not reality.
The reality is Justin Rogers is the Packers’ new head coach. Under his leadership, the team may continue to win or it may not — but hoping for his failure is exactly equal to hoping for the team’s failure, and those boys deserve better than that from this community. That was the editorial’s other point.
As for the Rants and Raves, we have received a lot of comments, some supporting Propst and others supporting the school superintendent and school board. Many of both have run; some have not. Sometimes we ran out of space, sometimes one person’s comment would be very similar to one we were already running, or sometimes the rant turned into a personal attack that wasn’t appropriate for our newspaper.
As far as our news coverage, we reached out to Coach Propst to get his side for every story we wrote about the board’s vote and investigation. He declined or did not respond. Instead, when he was ready, he issued two statements — one on March 19 and one on April 5 — that we ran in their entirety both on our website and in the next publication of the newspaper.
It is always the goal of this newspaper to fairly report the news on the news pages and to allow for a variety of opinions on our opinion page. While we have not been perfect, we do believe we have met those goals overall in this case, and we will continue to do so as events warrant further coverage.
We also welcome signed letters to the editor on this or any other topic.