Sign petition to rescind Hill’s contract

Published 12:01 am Sunday, June 21, 2015

Greek Philosopher Plato once said something both true and profound: “The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future in life.”

The first wrong step in any convicted felon’s life is to detour from education.  Many times it begins by simply skipping school and moves on to full dropping out. Once out of school, the “streets” now become their classrooms, and instead of graduation being a cap and gown, it’s either prison or a Memorial Service.

I know. I was one.

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No matter where a person resides, any city or in any town, if that community does not have a proficient educational system, the town cannot and will not flourish.

Over these last years we have seen just that, with the rapid change in our educational system. Changes result from principals being reassigned, to the hiring, firing, and resignations of employees all over the district; no one seems to be safe.

Teachers are being forced in certain classrooms, and as soon as results are made, they are uprooted and sent elsewhere.

We have lost great educators, educators who we couldn’t get back if we tried, and we still have 58 positions to fill currently in the Natchez-Adams School District.

The sad part is we as a community sit peacefully quiet while Dr. Frederick Hill and Tim Blalock rip our school district to shreds.

The actions of Hill are not his first, and definitely will not be his last. Hill, as well as his former boss, Superintendent Randy Shaver, was forced to resign from the Tupelo Public School District for similar actions. Shaver was forced out less than two years after running the school district for reassigning a Tupelo High School principal.

City council members of Tupelo called for Shaver and Hill to resign. “I feel like Fred Hill is an extension of Randy Shaver’s ideas on how a school system needs to be run, and I don’t think those ideas are in touch with Northeast Mississippi,” said Tupelo City Councilman Mark Weeden.

Neither are they in touch with Southwest (Natchez) Mississippi.

Tim Blalock is a great attorney. However, he cannot bring personal beliefs in to run a school district. His personal beliefs are rooted in science. Let’s face it. He graduated with a B.S. in computer science in 2002 from Brigham Young University. He has used his computer experience in his work in the legal profession. He is also bishop of the Natchez Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This religion is relevant because for Mormons, there is really no such thing
as separation of church and state.

Teaching is not a science. It is an art, and art is subjective. Art was created for beauty and emotional reaction, for being appreciated by individuals, using personal feelings and tastes to form an opinion.

I believe teaching itself is an art form and truly a creative process. It eclipses mere instruction or explanation and inspires and enlightens a new generation. This inspiration goes far in developing young people who dream and achieve. Teaching then is not simply current techniques but the challenging of a generation to achieve more than simply test scores but the creation of a better country and world.

Science is objective, and can be explained as claims, methods and results. The claims, methods and results of science are not, or should not be influenced by particular perspectives, value commitments, community bias or personal interests, and that’s Blalock’s beliefs and not the beliefs of the community.

When you belittle your educators, discriminate against your principals and look at education as a science, then the art and passion of teaching becomes flawed. That is why we have faithful employees resigning and retiring. They do not want to be a part of what the district is doing.

A petition has been formed to request the Natchez-Adams School Board to rescind its decision to extend Hill’s contract. You can sign the online petition at Also, you can call 601-334-1685 and someone will make sure you sign.

Let’s work together.

Javarrea Jones of Natchez is a junior at Alcorn State University.