My View/Jack Taylor – Perry detractors mad with power


I was dismayed by the ugly and mean-spirited comments of Marc Sukolsky in his letter to the editor last week to The Times, titled Your Lopsided Reporting. 

He criticizes the Times reporting regarding the firing of former Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent Rebecca Perry as lopsided and jaded. But it is Mr. Sukolsys venomous diatribe that is truly over the top. Mr. Sukolsky was not content with just smearing Ms. Perry.

He chose to use the broad brush of guilt by association, in the style once made famous by Sen. Joe McCarthy, and smears everyone associated with her in the school administration, calling them nothing but patronizing, well-paid cronies. Thats more than unfair, it is character assassination. Does Mr. Sukolsky really think that people dedicate their careers to educating children so they can wield power and make big money?

Certainly Ms. Perry made mistakes, and reasonable people can disagree about her tenure. I happen to believe she and her team accomplished much, particularly in regard to school accreditation. 

But Mr. Sukolsky insists on seeing things in black and white, as if it is an epic struggle of good versus evil. He dismisses anyone who sees anything of value in Ms. Perrys work as caught in the spell of mystique and wonder, gullible fools who need to get past the idol worshipping of a tarnished self-aggrandizer.  It seems ironic then, when he turns around and effusively praises Ms. Eberwein as courageous and visionary for firing Ms. Perry and changing the locks. He sounds as if he is caught in a spell of mystique and wonder, and is doing some idol worshipping himself. 

Finally, I have a problem with the actions that Mr. Sukolsky finds courageous and visionary.  Changing the locks and treating a long-time educator as if she were a felon is more petty than courageous.  Ms. Eberwein maintains changing the locks was simply standard operating procedure.  I would still like to see where that supposed standard operating procedure is codified, since a Freedom of Information Act request submitted to the School Board revealed no such written requirement. 

Frankly, I think it is Ms. Eberwein and her allies who have gone a bit mad with power in this case, and their insulting, heavy-handed tactics do not serve the children and families of our school system well. Neither does Mr. Sukolskys poison pen.

Jack Taylor has been a true Patron Saint of The Scholarship Fund and has worked tirelessly to inspire others to support the education of Alexandrias youth to ensure the future social and economic vitality of our community, said Susan Yowell, director of the Scholarship Fund.