An Open Letter To John Farrelly Superintendent Edgecombe County Public Schools In Response To SouthWest Edgecombe Graduation 2017

I have supported you speaking out when parents talked junk about you and your stand on keeping the children out of school during bad weather because they don’t even want them at home. I still stand with you on that.

Mr. Farrelly and I regret I can’t call you Dr. Farrelly because the Doctorate that you will receive you are going to receive it soon while you were given the opportunity to obtain it while being our superintendent. The school in Dare County will get to call you Dr. Farrelly soon when you report there on July 1st.

I am totally embarrassed at what I witnessed one week ago from today when I attended and videoed the graduation. You were there along with the school board members and 2 associate superintendents at least.

When I read your first response you didn’t say anything about an apology on the internet responding to someone that was shared on a facebook page I felt good. But when the media began to get involved I learned you apologized and told the principal to take the diploma to the house over the weekend I was totally pissed.

Mr. Farrelly you threw the principal under the bus because first of all how in the hell do you apologize for someone else actions especially a grown person? An apology from you mean absolutely nothing.

Mr. Farrelly to make it appear that it is okay for you to throw the principal under the bus without putting out a statement giving the complete guidelines pertaining to graduation is a direct slap in the face to an educated black man.

Now I am asking that you send out a detailed explanation to how a graduation should be done. Include in it that all students are to abide by the rules set forth by the advisor and the principal. Make it clear that the president is not the main speaker because they are just an elected student which is by popularity and not by academics. How can the president get more time than the valedictorian and the salutatorian when they earn those positions by academics. How can the president think he can turn his speech in late and I don’t give a damn who approve that the content and grammar was okay? How can the president decide what he feels is what he can say and disrespect the advisor and the principal? How can the president just because he has the mic think it is okay to say whatever he feels?

Mr. Farrelly you make it appear that a student can break the rules and it is okay but the principal can’t say anything. What should have happened since the school hires officers to work to remove anyone who are disruptive and do not follow the rules is the principal should have stood up, walked up to podium and asked for the mic. The principal should have said that since the president is not abiding by the rules we are going on to the next thing on the program. If the principal chose to allow the president to continue then he should have said okay the president is not reading the approved speech and sat back down. I know the principal of the schools have control over their schools to a certain degree and this was something that met using his authority.

Mr. Farrelly tell me what else could have been possibly done on that night to send a message to students that it is not okay to not abide by the rules?

Mr. Farrelly students that are serious about school along with their parents ought to be outraged about what took place from a student standpoint because this was not only about the diploma but disrespecting the valedictorian and the salutatorian. The staff at SouthWest ought to be outraged because they have to deal with the children so if they are given the okay to disrespect the principal hell ain’t nothing they will be able to tell them.

I am totally embarrassed about this entire situation and more embarrassed that you have not done anything to help the transition before you leave. This does not only affect SouthWest but all the schools across the county and the state but not limited to.

Please respond asap.

Curmilus Dancy II
SouthWest Alumni