In the Electronic Media Age, few things go unreported, and once reported, seldom go without comment.
During the recent election cycle, we had allegations of unethical behavior casually tossed around, including an allegation that the Democratic Party of Georgia hacked or attempted to hack the voting system.
Locally, during the Republican primary, Mark Pettitt had to address his use of alcohol while boating. Mr. Pettitt handled that through the courts, met his court-ordered obligations and defeated his opponents with his campaign “For the Kids.”
When and if Mr. Pettitt takes a seat on the Hall County Board of Education, he will handle decisions much larger than personal public behavior.
Until Mark Pettitt resolves his Dec. 15 arrest on DUI charges, I think we should hit pause and delay giving him so much power.
Leveling any ethics complaint against a public figure brings out questions on how to define ethical behavior. I like the simple definition of just knowing right from wrong and doing what is right even when no one is looking.
Once on the school board, teachers accused of unethical behavior will be forced to rely on Mr. Pettitt’s judgement on ethics and professional conduct. I believe the outcome of his second criminal charge related to public alcohol use could disqualify him from supervising professional educators, being an example for our children and from making judgements on safety and security within our public schools.
But, Mr. Pettitt is to be considered innocent until proven guilty. That’s fair. But, giving him that consideration doesn’t mean an automatic pass to the school board, which controls judgement of what is right and wrong and doing what is right even when no one is looking.
Until Mr. Pettitt is legally released from his criminal charges, the citizens and parents of Hall County should act with caution and consideration, both in condemning him and in seating him on a public board.
Michael W. Parker