We are a group of Southern Nash High School retired educators who meet monthly because we are good friends, because we bonded during our years of counseling and teaching math, English, foreign languages, science, career and technical education, library science, English as Second Language, special education and every other course taught at any top rated high school, and because teaching at Southern Nash was a positive experience.
Joining the members of the retired Southern Nash staff are four others who have taught with the former principal at Southern. We know that recent events at Southern Nash High School could just as easily have happened at Enloe, Fike, Rocky Mount High and Terry Sanford here in North Carolina or at any high school anywhere in the country.
We also know that Connie Bobbitt is a good principal, a good person, respectful, fair and honest. We know that she knows her job, how to perform her job, and that she respects all groups that are essential in making a high school successful: students, parents and teachers.
We know that she has good communication skills and that she cares deeply about Southern Nash and her community. We do not think that she has been treated fairly unless she asked to be replaced, which we do not believe was the case because she would never abandon those counting on her to lead the school that she always dreamed of leading to excellence, her alma mater.
We have the greatest concern and sympathy for the young victim, and we realize that the attacker has to be a very troubled young woman who needs medical attention, good legal representation and a fair trial. Whoever knew about the attacker’s plans and did not act is in some measure responsible for not sharing that information with the principal, counselors, their parents and other students.
We know that had Connie Bobbitt had any idea that this act was eminent that she would have acted as she has throughout her career: she would not have rested until she had gotten to the bottom of the problem.
Finally, we are saddened that the name of a place where we spent so many hours of our lives, striving for excellence, teaching the leaders of tomorrow, promoting ideas of progress, integrity, equality and hope for a better future has been so sullied, that the students feel ashamed of their school, that the principal has been disgraced and that the community is so hurt.
We still believe in Southern Nash, and we hope that as the victim heals, that the school will too.
Seniors deserve to graduate from the school in June with their heads held high. Juniors need to know that next year will be magical for them. Sophomores and freshmen need to know that their future at Southern Nash will be secure as well.
Southern Nash is not a bad school; it just had bad luck one day. The situation can be remedied, but the principal is not the problem. Thanks.
Emily R. Coble