More than a melee

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 7, 2007

On Saturday, I took a few minutes to give me opinion about the melee that happened on the football field at Hertford County High School Friday night.

I stand behind what I wrote in that commentary. I meant every word of it then and I still do now.

Unfortunately, however, there are people who are judging Hertford County High School and Bertie High School by the three minutes of stupidity that took place between the two bands.

It’s okay to be embarrassed by the incident and it’s okay to want those responsible punished. I agree on both counts.

What isn’t fair is saying nothing has changed in either school. I would have to disagree with anyone who says either is in the same condition it was three years ago.

Both schools are making steps toward getting past their lack of academic progress. They’ve also each made decisions in recent years to bring in progressive principals.

HCHS in particular has made great strides since Jerry Simmons became the school’s principal. In just over a year at the helm of the school, Simmons has changed the culture of failure that has plagued Hertford County for so long.

He has a positive attitude that is contagious among those who are in and around the school. Simmons is a hard worker who will give the time and energy necessary to make HCHS a school we can all be proud of in the future.

There is still much to do, but Hertford County High School is making progress.

Unfortunately the lack of good judgment on the part of a few caused all of that progress to be forgotten. What HCHS is known for right now is a band director arrested for inciting a riot and an ugly incident involving students.

Bertie, likewise, has been tarnished by the incident. Principals Rickey Eley and Sharon Bond have worked diligently to make the necessary improvements at BHS. They are working not only on the physical plant, but also on academics.

The duo has worked with the community to improve communication and has continued to supply the students a good place to learn.

While the television news and others around the state may be mocking us right now, it is important for those of us here in Bertie and Hertford counties remember progress is being made.

We have to work hard to get past this set of problems and remember there is a greater goal than a conference championship or a win on the football field.

The students at Bertie High School and Hertford County High School need to be given our support even in trying times.

Questions? Comments? Snide remarks? All are welcome.

You can reach me at or call me at 332-7211.

Good night, thank you for reading and may your God go with you.