McDuffie County BOE (51)

1 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 19:53 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Heather Meadows, News 12 Web Producer - North Augusta, SC 1:31 PM Apr 2, 2007
It looks like our software not only removes all comments after two weeks, but also trims comment lists once they get past a certain number. I was not aware of this second feature. It may have been added recently due to high load on the server.
This thread is about to go off the site--Wednesday is the two-week point. On Tuesday I will archive the comments like I did with the previous story.

At that point I'm not sure what you should do. We don't have another McDuffie County story for you to comment on. It might be best for one of you to set up a forum somewhere so you can continue this conversation.

Otherwise, if we do get more information on this and post another story, you are more than welcome to return and post here.

If you have further information that might help us follow up on this story, please email it to Laurie Ott.

2 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 19:57 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Concerned - Thomson 8:59 AM Mar 28, 2007
The BOE meeting yesterday was closed. Hush Hush More secrets. When are they going to come clean?
Posted by: Thomson - Thomson 8:59 AM Mar 28, 2007
For SUspicious: Not Malice knows what I was talking about, and I know nothing about a janitor. This is about a principal railroading teachers out of town.
Posted by: Concerned - Thomson 10:18 AM Mar 28, 2007
Far Enough is right. The gossip is getting out of hand. What we need to focus on is the fact that Petersen stole from our community at least one, and if we allow him to continue, it will continue. We must do whatever we need to to get him out of here. His henchmen will soon follow becuase they can't stand the heat of a real administrator.

3 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 19:57 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Thomson - Thomson 3:59 PM Mar 27, 2007
To Not Malice: I too have knowledge of the incident. There are others who also have knowledge of how this principal has treated people. He has not only done this to one person. There are others. This man, no matter how he tries to spin it, is a tyrant. In the name of student welfare he sacrifices good teachers. Hitler did the same to millions of Jews in the name of creating a greater race. Is there really a difference? A principalshiip does not make one a great leader, or even a good person. Greatness comes when one continues to grow and takes his eyes off himself. A great leader works for the greater good of all. To do this, one must become a servant leader, and sometimes that involves molding and coaching rather than control and ridicule. I'm not sure the Petersen regime has any of these.
Posted by: SUSPICIOUS - Thomson 6:12 PM Mar 27, 2007
To Thomson: What incident are talking about? There are several on this site. Could you be talking about the janitor who was sexually abused at work? Please stand up for this woman, THOMSON if you know anything have it on your hearts to let it OUT!!!
Posted by: answer to suspicious - Thomson 8:58 AM Mar 28, 2007
The incident in question supposedly involves the TMS principal.
Posted by: james - Thomson 8:58 AM Mar 28, 2007
I can believed that the comment posted by J> Randolph was not made by Jerry Randolph becouse Jerry will not say or do anything that he isn't told to do by certain people.
Posted by: Far Enough - Hollywood ? 8:59 AM Mar 28, 2007
This mess has gone too far! There are so many different stories or variations on stories on here you can't make heads or tails of it. If I want to know what is really going on in our school system, I would be just as well off to the barber shop or a local watering hole. This has turned into nothing more than a he said - she said gossip column. SO much trash talk, you cant figure out the real problems from the exaggerated ones. And that is what I imagine most of the things on here are - exaggerations of little stuff and about higher up people who have made some little folks mad. Or more likely, just jealous. All My Children might not have much more drama than what's on here, but I bet they have more facts in their script. This isn't Hollywood Let's not make things seem worse than they are. That's what the news anchors job is. If things had really been that bad and building up that much before the first story came out, you would have found a way before now to complain to the public. I think that this just gave you a good excuse to hear yourself gripe.

4 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 19:58 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Teacher - Thomson 10:59 PM Mar 26, 2007
I am a teacher in McDuffie county and I really enjoy my job. The children here are wonderful, as are the administrators I work for. I know not every teacher is satisfied with their job, but they are not working at my school. We have a positive atmosphere and most of us enjoy what we do. I do not know Dr. Peterson personally, but from my viewpoint, these schools in McDuffie County are filled with wonderful educators who will do everything and anything to create positive, knowledgeable students. Our schools have been superior to the surrounding counties for a while now. I hope they will stay that way, despite all of the negative publicity we are receiving.
Posted by: Thomson - Thomson 10:59 PM Mar 26, 2007
Burgess, You were one of the main supporters of Petersen. How do you feel now?
Posted by: Thomson - Thom 11:01 PM Mar 26, 2007
Jerry Randolph, prove them wrong, for once stand up for what is right and motion that Petersen be dismissed. Stop supporting him he wouldn't support you if you were not who you were! If you don't I'll be forced to come public and tell what I know!
Posted by: Teacher - Thomson 8:59 AM Mar 27, 2007
ThomsonBulldog, stop telling everyone to lay off Petersen. It's not the money amount that's important - it's the principle of the thing. If he did something wrong, he should face the music. That's one of the things we try to teach the kids in school. Obviously, sports is your priority. There are more important things in life than school athletics. Like moral values and justice, for instance.
Posted by: Teacher - Thomson. 8:59 AM Mar 27, 2007
Mad in McDuffie, you have hit upon a good idea. You parents should keep your kids at home not just once or twice a week, but every day until priorities get straightened out. I am sick of this school system trying to make a name for itself to the detriment of the children's welfare.
Posted by: Not Malice - Thomson 9:01 AM Mar 27, 2007
You may feel injured if you have to have a root canal or if your pet has to be put down. That doesn’t mean that the dentists and veterinarians are acting out of malice or that they are mean spirited. Acting in the best interest of a group of students is not malice either.
Posted by: NOT A TEACHER - HERE 12:52 PM Mar 27, 2007
Posted by: NOT A TEACHER - thomson 1:25 PM Mar 27, 2007
i meant their.
Posted by: did - thomson 3:45 PM Mar 27, 2007
Did anyone go to the BOE meeting yesterday? Give report please.

5 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 19:59 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Carmen - Thomson 6:04 PM Mar 26, 2007
I attend Thomson High School where comments and anger have been flying high for the past couple of weeks concerning Dr. Peterson's wrong doings for lack of a better word. I have attended McDuffie County Schools all of my life and it angers me how horrible and corrupt our system has become. Prior to Peterson taking position as superintendent I would have to say that our system was pretty well balance and honest to my knowledge at least. Now we have this complete idiot in charge and the whole system is blown. Daily we are taught to be honest and noble but how can we learn to be such when our advisers are irresponsible? There are many flaws in McDuffie County Schools that go further than Dr. Peterson but those are too trival to solve. However, Dr. Peterson can be solved. Get rid of him put people in his position that are honest, responsible, and overall a good person. It's an absolute shame that our school has aquired a bad reputation due to his so called leadership. As far as muting the teachers, that is a crying shame. I look up to my teachers as do many students and for them not to be allowed to discuss an issue that concerns their job is ludicris! I mean one of my teachers was pretty scared that if she talked about it or let us visit this website that she would be jeopardizing her job. They feel threated. No one should have to work in that kind of environment. BOE members should do what so many have been stating, get rid of Peterson he is ruining our system. The BOE should take some of the money that they obtained and spend it on materials that are needed such as books, better restrooms, fully functioning air conditioners, buses, and so on. Personally, I believe that McDuffie County Schools are decent schools but if the officials focused more on academics and finances rather than athletics, dress code, minute details, and other ridiculous issues I could possibly enjoy my High School experience! Hah I was told not to put my real name on this site because it could be risky an utter shame my friends.
Posted by: Get Over It - Thomson 10:58 PM Mar 26, 2007
Dear Honest: The audits are public records, and the reason I knew so much is because I read something other than blogs. It wasn’t a secret, and neither are board meeting dates or personnel policies or the guidelines for not announcing and/or advertising vacancies. Do a little research. Visit some other sites. You might sound like you really know something, too.
Posted by: ThomsonBulldog - Thomson 10:59 PM Mar 26, 2007
For the third time would yall lay off Petersen and forget about this crap.He paid the money back he admitted to his mistakes he said it wont happen again and from now on another set of eyes will look at everything before its done.Yall act like the man stole a million dollars or something.Yall dont know a good thing when yall see it he is the best superintendent mcduffie county has ever seen.Do you know why u aint seeing this on the news anymore because all the money is accounted for and its a dead issue.Dr. Petersen if you are reading this please dont resign and dont change the way you do things if it werent for u half of our athletic program would still suck and i doubt we would be seeing the new schools being built.Im behind you 100% and Jerry Randolph.

6 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 19:59 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Nunya - Raysville, GA 9:19 AM Mar 26, 2007
Why is he still here? I guess it's another example of the buddy-buddy system. Nothing new.
Posted by: AP - McDuffie 4:23 PM Mar 26, 2007
I find it sad to see how my community can be so united and fired up about one scandal when there are several "scandals" happening every year in our school system. I wonder how many of you know that the AP classes have to have 15 students in order to make. Besides being branded with the "geek" label, the AP classes are very selective in what students they accept, and rightfully so. My classmates and I have watched as students who shouldn't have made the cut have to be persuaded to be in the AP classes and then struggle behind the core of the class because they can't keep up. Of course, it all goes back to funding, funding, funding, and more funding. Even though I have two jobs and numerous extra-cirricular activities, I would gladly dedicate my time after school to furthering my education, especially with the excellent AP teachers we have at Thomson High. But no. Mark Peterson's misdeeds are apparently more important to McDuffie County citizens than their child's education. Grow up Thomsonites, stop berating Peterson like you're in middle school and address issues inside the schools concerning the students. Let the law handle Peterson.
Posted by: Friend - Thomson 5:07 PM Mar 26, 2007
It is amazing how some of the rumors we hear in McDuffie County comes to past. As we know, we cannot believe everything we hear or read but I am familiar with the principal and custodian ordeal. My friend told me what happened. She was scared when it all happened. She was afraid that she would lose her job. Dr. Petersen questioned her in his office in the presence of another white male whom she did not know. She did not have representation present. No police report of sexual misconduct has been filed. What message are we sending?

7 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:00 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: `Smiling - McDuffie County 9:15 AM Mar 26, 2007
Hooray to the Veteran Educato who had the courage to stand up and spell out thier frustration with the "Rhodes-Petersen" regime. It's time someone spoke up and called the people by name.
Posted by: Smiliing - McDuffie County 9:15 AM Mar 26, 2007
To the "parent" with 20 yearsaudit experience. You may be correct about how audits are handles in your profession. Obviously you are not in the business of teaching our young people integrity, honesty, and truth.
Posted by: Honest - Thomson 9:16 AM Mar 26, 2007
To the parent who knew so much about previous audit reports. Congratulations. you have just told us what we needed to know. It seems from what you have stated, in the past, we had marginal bookeeping and accounting type errors. These should have, and could have been easily corrected. Why were they not corrected. Wasn't Petersen in charge in 2005, and 2004? Possibly the truth lies in the fact that before this time, the person at the top was expected to follow the same rules as his subordinates. That worked well in McDuffie until we put someone in the position who feels he is above the law, and beyond reproach.
Posted by: Mad in McDuffie - Thomson 9:16 AM Mar 26, 2007
I'm tired of t he self righteous Petersen supporters telling us to shut up. We must speak up, stand up, and be heard. If the board and Petersen will not budge, then we can use our right to vote to get a new board, but in the meanwhile, we can do whatever we need to in order to get their attention. One of the simplest ways is to have our children stay home from school once or twice a week. This collective absenteeism would adversly affect the coveted AYP our school system needs. I'm sure that we could use the days the children are at home to teach them proper values, and right from wrong.
Posted by: Educator - McDuffie 9:18 AM Mar 26, 2007
To the parent concerned about teachers working on spelling, grammar, etc. ---Are you saying that because you are a parent, you are perfect at all aspects of parenting. All these "typos" usually mean that our highly intellectual minds process our thoughts at a greater rate of speed than our fingers can keep up with. Might I remind you that all fall short of the glory of God--none of us perfect. If perfect is what matters, then home school your children.

8 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:00 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Parent - Thomson 3:32 PM Mar 25, 2007
As the parent of children who have attended Norris Elementary School since Steve Rhodes became principal, I have nothing but positive things to say about the man. I cannot say the same for some of the teachers. Maybe the teachers who are complaining need to find new occupations. I don’t think they would be having problems if they were doing their jobs and meeting the standards they are expected to meet.
Posted by: Parent - McDuffie 3:33 PM Mar 25, 2007
If some the individuals identifying themselves as educators on this site are truly educators, they need to return to school to work on their spelling, grammar, and writing skills before returning to the classroom to teach our children.
Posted by: Law Followed - Thomson 3:33 PM Mar 25, 2007
To the educated professional person who attended the Mary Kay party: Under FMLA, employees are not guaranteed their same position upon their return. I’ve been through it, and I also know your source. If she is honest, she will tell you that she was given an equivalent position as required under FMLA. The principal did not do away with her job as you stated, nor did she simply extend her leave because of the premature birth of her child. She went on leave for her entire pregnancy, and returning to that classroom just before CRCT testing was not in the best interest of those students. She still had a job, and it was her choice to leave.
Posted by: Concerned - Thomson 9:15 AM Mar 26, 2007
To Law Followed. Sometimes when we follow the letter of the law, and yet do it with malice or a mean spirit, it is the same as not following it in the eyes of the injured person. This is just the behaviot I was talking about when I objected to that same principal being promised the principalship of the new school without benefit of competition.

9 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:01 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: mcduffie taxpayer - thomson 10:35 AM Mar 25, 2007
Most of the comments I have read have been entirely about Mr Petersen being an avid football/bulldog fan/supporter, even having a doghouse in his front yard. I think this situation with the audit has nothing to do with sports, but is an insight into the character of a man that holds a very powerful job. It is also about a BOE without a backbone to do the right thing.
Posted by: Parent - Thomson 10:36 AM Mar 25, 2007
Audit findings in the financial records of the McDuffie County BOE are not exclusive to the 2006 audit report, nor are they exclusive to Petersen’s leadership. In addition to the 2006 report, there are three prior audit reports available on the web. Note that the first two reports were for years that Grisham was superintendent, and Tom Smalley as comptroller was the contact person on all four reports. The 2003 report included an unresolved audit finding from 2002 for inadequate internal control procedures, as well as new findings for inadequate accounting procedures and inadequate separation of duties. The 2004 audit report included new findings for inadequate accounting procedures, inadequate separation of duties, failure to adequately maintain capital assets, and other findings with regard to federal awards and filing of inaccurate and untimely reports. In 2005, the overall accounting controls had inadequate policies and procedures, revenues and expenditures had inadequate internal control procedures, and employee compensation revealed inaccurate reporting of senior management compensation. In 2006, the number of audit findings continued to increase, but what I find interesting is that the superintendent’s travel vouchers were the only vouchers identified in the 2006 audit without odometer readings. You can’t tell me that every other employee in the county requesting reimbursement remembered to list the odometer readings without having their paperwork returned to them. Why weren’t Petersen’s reimbursement requests verified before payment was made unless someone was hoping to target him? Read the reports. Some of audit findings were explained away as problems with computer software. The comptroller should have reviewed the numbers and found the problems before submitting the reports to the state. Inadequate internal control procedures, inaccurate reporting, and deficits in federal funding did not begin with Petersen. Had the lack of controls and procedures been corrected when first identified in prior years, many of the problems in 2006 could possibly have been avoided.

10 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:01 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Anna - Thomson 11:14 PM Mar 24, 2007
Once again I am calling on the BOE to wake up and smell the coffee. All of the out cry comes from frustrated teachers who want to be heard and have been told not to talk to any board members, media, or even their peers. Teachers are educated people who have been taught to question. Hopefully they are using there education to teach there students to question. If not I would not want them to teach my students. If I were a principal I would want teachers to question what was going on in the school. It shows that they are involved and thinking of ways to improve. So why has Dr. PetersEn instructed his principals to mute their teachers? It goes back to if you are a good and honest leader and not just a "do you see me now" football fan then you trust the people you hired to do their jobs and not control their actions with fear. When fear-tactics have to be used then someone is not so smart just heady with power. If you check the records Dr. Petersen has been heady with power before. I would like to throw one more thing out there, The "Renaissance Program", where did it come from? When Dr. Petersen came to this county he brought it with him. I wonder if he got kick-backs. He brought it here and it was not free. In fact I wonder how much money has been spent on training for this program. Board of Education also look into how much of that money that was used for training has trickled down to the students or the teachers. I suspect that that is where, if you looked into it, our tax payer money is being used. My question to that would be was there not good programs working in our schools? Did we need another quick-fix program? In one of the earlier letters it stated that if something is not broken then don't fix it. This county was not broken but now it very well might be. It has nothing to do with his morals it has everything to do with a leader that is above the law. I say again please start the process to get rid of Dr. Mark PetersEn. Please don't let the SACS team be drawn into the web he has made and the system be eaten.
Posted by: Parent - Thomson 11:17 PM Mar 24, 2007
I have been amazed at the material printed on this blog. I can't believe that teachers feel they have been denied a privilege because they were unable to access this site on school time. I have not heard a single one of these complainers who appear to be mostly educators say they have read the audit and know what line item needs to be questioned. I have dealt with audits for over 20 years and when a problem arises, the line item is addressed immediately and a correction is made. That appears to be what happened with this audit. It served it's purpose to correct procedural errors. All expenses were approved by the school board. Can someone please explain to me if the board approves an expenditure how that makes the superintendent a thief? It would appear the Board is the one that made the errors and remember, the board of education employs a comptroller to oversee all expenditures and post them to the correct fund. That is not the superintendents job. As a parent who has had children in our school system, it appears to me a few disgruntled teachers have an ax to grind and this site has allowed them to do so. I hope the "facts" my children learned in this system were better researched before being taught than the "facts" that are alleged on here. Not only does it appear to me that few, if any, have their facts straight on here but it also seems that at least three people have used other peoples names hoping to make an impression. So you who complain with great anonymity, don't you wish you knew who wrote this?

11 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:01 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: ThomsonBulldog - Thomson 11:12 PM Mar 24, 2007
Its time to let this stuff die folks.The man admitted to his mistakes he payed the money back and from now on nothing will be done without an extra set of eyes looking at it.Yall act like he stole a million dollars or something.He as apologized over and over again and all the money is accounted for.Dr Petersen is the best superintendent that mcduffie county has ever seen.Dr Petersen please continue to strive to make our athlectic programs and academics the best in the state.I admire you for making the descicions you have made and i hope you continue to do this in the future for the betterment of our programs.Many people dont have the guts u do to do what needs to be done.I applaud you sir and the job you are doing.Please dont even think about resining and know you have a strong supporter out here behind you.
Posted by: BulldogBite - Thomson 11:13 PM Mar 24, 2007
Relationships in mcduffie county schools is nothing new. [Name redacted] a math teacher at THS married one of his former students and dont think something wasnt going on with them while she was in school because it was.So if yall want to jump on coach J.B about what he did we can go on and on.Everybody is trying to make this out like its a athletic thing and its more than that.
Posted by: Suspicious - McDuffie 11:13 PM Mar 24, 2007
Does any one know about the janitor and the principal? Everything needs to out in the open.

12 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:02 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Outraged - Thomson 12:22 PM Mar 24, 2007
If we revisit Laurie Ott's original report we will see that she reports 5000 in undocumented expenses to senior management, 2000 in undocumentned school charge card expenses, approx 500 in plane ticket and registration for wife, and hundreds of dollarsw of charges to a corporate credit card that were not education related. If we excuse the senior management discrepancies to poor bookkeeping practises, that still leaves the remainder as personal responsibility of Dr Petersen. According to reports, he repaid the plane ticket and registration fees. Did he repay the charge card charges, or those that were not education related. According to the article, the cards were cancelled. Should he be allowed to get away without making restitution? And there is the actual restitution of the plane ticket and registration. This was not an oversight. This was an attempt to defraud McDuffie County School System. An oversight would be something like "Oops, I used the wrong charge card." I need to make restitution on Monday morning after I find the error. He did not do this. No, he waited until confronted by a state audit report. Then it was "Oops, I made a mistake" Mistake my foot. He was misusing school funds, and if we in McDuffie County allow this to be swept under the rug, we might as well let our children stay home from school entirely, because we are teaching them values and ideas that are totally wrong. Petersen, please leave.
Posted by: Veteran Educator - Thomson 11:12 PM Mar 24, 2007
I am one of the many teachers with many years of experience that have been trampled upon by the Rhodes-Petersen regime. My experience with the McDuffie County School System has left such a bad taste in my mouth that I may never teach again. BOE members, show that you have some backbone and do what you know in your heart is right for the children of this community.

13 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:03 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: sad comment - used to be mcduffie 12:20 PM Mar 24, 2007
When my family left McDuffie County over a year ago, I hated that my children were leaving what I thought to be a solid school system. I was never anything but pleased with the education that McDuffie COunty provided. Looking at what I see here, I am glad that we are not longer there. McDuffie looks like it has some major issues. But I don't think the leadership is the main one. I see a lot of posts by educators and teachers who have responded maliciously to the problems that are taking place. In the big picture, it is the teachers who have the most direct influence on individual children. By seeing what a mean, disloyal and vindictive bunch of people are out there "for the children" I don't see you all as being any better than the leaders that you are putting down. I remember my son talking about the character education lessons and citizenship word of the week that he would learn at school. Are people with so little character that they talk this ugly really the ones we want to teach children about being of good character? Aside from that whether you teach kindergarten or 12th grade, part of your job is to serve as an influence and role model to McDuffie County children. People who speak out like some of you have are not very good role models. Stealing tax money is a big deal. But it is also a big deal to show a lack of morals and character by speaking the way you have about a system you are supposed to believe in. If it is at a point that you can't believe in what is going on in your system, do something about it. Something other than lowering yourselves to the standards that you are speaking out against. You might not have stolen. You might not have had an affair. But being a good role model for children requires a lot more than that. If these are the types of people who are molding children in Thomson, then I am glad we left. My children deserve better than to be taught how to be a good person by teachers who cant practice the things they preach. I will just pray for the friends and family who still have children in your system. I am truly sad and disappointed that I have spoken so highly of Thomson Schools. I was wrong about the great dedicated people who work there. A sad comment on the downslide of society - and you are ALL (not just the administrators) adding to its decline.

14 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:03 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: ThomsonBulldog - Thomson 12:19 PM Mar 24, 2007
All yall folks out there saying all this mess need to get lost.If yall would just shut up all this stuff will go away.Cant yall see that the BOE is being hush hush about this for a reason so it will all go away.The man admitted that he stole money by paying for the airline tickets for his wife and when he got caught charging personal items to a credit card that the school system was paying the bill for he quickly cancelled the cards and he payed back the money for the airline tickets and he said it wont happen again.This situation is over and done with.Petersen will remain our superintendent until he retires from mcduffie county and his good buddy Jerry Randolph who is doing a great job as our chairman will remain our chairman and no BOE will be let go as far as im concerned.People quit beating a dead horse and lets get 100% behind Petersen and our BOE.There are alot of things in the works including a new school being built and a new norris on the horizon and dont forget about the brickyard.Can anybody honestly sit here and tell me the man aint done some great things since he has been here.The firing of Brad [Last Name Redacted] and Lisa [Last Name Redacted] to name a few look at where those two programs are today compared to where they were.I will have to say that i do agree that they shouldnt have named Mark Daniel as the next head coach without atleast letting other people apply once Welsh retires.All this talk about people showing up at the next board meeting to protest and voice there concerns yall need to forget about this and get a life.Yall are making mcduffie county look bad by continuing to post this mess on here.Drop it now folks.
Posted by: Scott - Thomson 12:19 PM Mar 24, 2007
I have heard that a board meeting will be held Thursday night. I have not confirmed it with the BOE as the offices had already closed Friday when I got the information. I did hear it from a very reliable source however. If there is to be a meeting this week, concerned citizens from both sides need to be there. We need to settle this issue one way or the other as quickly as possible. Our children and the reputation of our community deserve no less.

15 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:03 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: TBone - Thomson 12:16 PM Mar 24, 2007
Yall need to lay off of Petersen.So what if he bought airline tickets for his wife with school funds so what if he bought expensive meals and had parties and charged them to a credit card that was paid for by school funds.The man paid it all back for gosh sake this man loves Thomson so much he even has a dog house in his front yard.Its time to move on and forget about this.............sincerly T-Bone aka Petersen supporter
Posted by: A Private Affair - In Thomson, GA 12:17 PM Mar 24, 2007
Do you really think this is the first time teachers have ran around in McDuffie County Schools? Work place relationships in our schools have caused many a marriage to fail. This is not the first time a leader has ended their marriage and married another teacher. Where was this public out cry when it was a coach? He had small children. It devastated his wife. He remarried. No one cried out for his dismissal. I mean come on, the town would implode before we fired a football coach over adultery. What is the difference? I will tell you...the scorned wife is a teacher at another elementary school. This pitted three elementary schools against each other. That is why we are discussing this on a public forum. Pass the scarlet letters! If you fire every teacher that ever had an affair you better start recruiting now, because you won't have people in several key positions. And why stop there, how about every teacher that filed bankruptcy and left people holding the bills. What about teachers that bounced checks and had to be sent to collections. And why stop with teachers, let's fire or recall every leader in Thomson or McDuffie County that ever had an affair. Remember not to allow them into Sunday School and do not buy anything from their business, and oh yeah let's hold all of their children up to pulic redicule. The reality is that people fall short...they cheat...they lie. As long as teachers are people, they will fall short and disappoint us because that is what people do. The question is, do they try? Do they get up every morning and do the best they can? When you get ready to try and fire these principals, you better be prepared to fire every other educator and elected official that had an affiar. Don't set a precedent you are not prepared to enforce on ALL BOE employees and Board members. That is how school systems end up in court and have to pay out big money. Let the purge begin!!!
Posted by: Citizen - Thomson 12:17 PM Mar 24, 2007
It dose not matter how his name is spelled. I spell it THIEF! Who cares about the misspell of his name I am concerned about the state our school system is in. We all should be. PeterEN or whatever you knew what you were doing and soon you will be put into your place. Right Board members?

16 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:04 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Mixed Up - In Thomson 12:15 PM Mar 24, 2007
We have always been a community that had to balance education and athletics. It can not be ignored that our football and basketball programs help our young african-american boys with average to below average GPA's stay in school and graduate. The athletic program reaches across racial, and economic lines and brings the community together to support our children. The boosters do play favorites by supporting football and baseball over other programs, and our girl's sports are not treated equitably, but no one can question the impact of the football and recent baseball programs on the self esteem of our young men. The question is, is that what the school system is there for, and is this enough? Of course not. The schools are here to educate. We can never forget our TRUE mission is to educate, or WE fail our students. Unfortunately, we as a community took our eye off the prize. There is plenty of blame to go around here. Who's to blame for the fact that most of the BOE Board members ran unapposed? We are. Who's to blame that at most BOE meeting no one from the public shows up? We are. Who's to blame when the booster club loads up the board and then puts a lot of money and focus on sports? We are. This is not JUST about the superintendent, the board, or the administrators. This is also about OUR COMMUNITY. We have to take responsibility for our contribution to this problem. They say 10% of the people do 90% of the work, but even the 10% have not gotten involved in this issue. If we can come together after a tornado, and we can come together for Relay, then we CAN come together and strighten this situation out. It may take hard decision, and people will most probably get their feelings hurt, but AREN'T OUR KIDS WORTH IT?
Posted by: To Call a BOE Meeting - McDuffie County 12:15 PM Mar 24, 2007
You need four board members to call a meeting and bring it to order. Even if Georgia, Dorothy and Ella voted to call a meeting another board member would have to agree to actually start an official meeting. Anyone can host a town hall meeting but the board can not take action unless four members vote for it. Jerry, Rick, and Paul will not vote for a called meeting to address the communities concerns about this. That leaves Virginia.
To see all your BOE members and their contact information:

Posted by: Leadership - Thomson 12:16 PM Mar 24, 2007
A good leader encourages the open exchange of ideas and comments. Our teachers are among the most educated citizens in our community. If you can't respect their educated opinion how do you expect our children to respect them? I always thought that our centers of learning were there for the open exploration of ideas. How do you go "from good to great" if you supress exploration and the innovation it creates?
Posted by: Quiet Teachers? - Thomson 12:16 PM Mar 24, 2007
When did McDuffie County teachers start sitting idly by and keeping quiet when they disagree with ANYTHING? In my experience, they are the MOST vocal group in the county. If our teachers feel supressed something MUST be going on.

17 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:05 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: educator - thomson 12:29 AM Mar 24, 2007
For the person who wrote about Coach Thomas, you got to be a parent of a basketball player. Sports is not important. What's in your brain, and how you use it is. How can you only be concerned about talented players not been played in the game. Your child education is important, sports is not. But maybe to you it is because maybe just maybe you are hoping for your child to make it to the pros and take care of you for the rest of your life. It's amazing what people will do for money. Playing a student in a game because of talent is just like agreeing that your child should have the right to walk across a stage to get a certificate of attendance for completion of 13 yrs which can not be use to get a good job. You got your priorities all in the wrong place. The issue is not about Michael Thomas, but it is about Mark peterson. How canyou support a man so strongly if he's only been in the community for a couple of years, whereas Coach Thomson has been involved in the community and school system for more than 15 years. You should be grateful that your son had the oppurnity to play for him. Back in the days if you weren't darn near perfect physical, and academicially you couldn't play for Coach Thomas, for the past 5 years I have seen and heard how he had to lower is standards in order to have people to play ball. the most sad part about this is your child maybe one of the ones who he had to lower the standards for. So you should be grateful and thankful of that. Back in the days you couldn't have long hair, baggy clothes, bad grades, suspended, OCS etc.. and still played ball. You even have a curfew, and had to attend church every sunday. But like I said your child probably falls in this category. When the last time you meet with your child's teacher, even if his performance are bad or great. I can answer that, never so before you critize him please do the same for yourself.
Posted by: parent - thomson 12:29 AM Mar 24, 2007
why must we wait to have a board meeting April the 12, why can't we have one now. If the teachers had did wrong, he would be quick to have the BOE members fire them, better yet he would fired them first and tell that person that he can fire anyone without explanation, and then have the BOE members approval later, that's how much power he seems to have. why are rules different for him. Is it becasue of his highly education, so what, when something like this happens it should not matter and it shouldn't matter how high his education is.
Posted by: INFO - Thomson 12:13 PM Mar 24, 2007
CALLED BOARD MEETING, MONDAY AT 4:30. Check the door at the BOE. He probably will change the location to an undisclosed location or have his guards protecting the doors. NO agenda listed on the announcement. SECRETS - SECRETS - SECRETS. Look out BOE employees - He will probably fire all of us.

18 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:05 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: educator - thomson 12:28 AM Mar 24, 2007
to J Randolph are whoever wrote the comment. How can you say that the assistant superintendent job is no longer needed. Who will be the person doing the hiring? The prinicpals will not have time with backgrounds checks, fingerprinting, etc, Mark Peterson will not do the hiring because he's to busy stealing money or at the High School, walking pass his employees and not taking out the time to even wave his hand. McDuffie made a mistake by not doing everything they could to keep Dr. Waters, she is a good educator, one of the best. The reason there will be no use for her job is because he doesn't like her. Is it because she stands up for what is right? Is it because she will not let people, not even Peterson push her around? I say to Dr. Waters Iam glad you are leaving. A good person like you should not want to have this type of scandal following you. Peterson give up. We do not want you here. And for the person to say the Peterson is a "true bulldog" how can he be. He's only been here what 3 years. I thought being a "true bulldog mean more than just going to football games, etc. A true Bulldog would've stole money, and said he made a mistake. If I went somewhere and took money, when I get caught of course I would be sorry too, but oh well It would still be considered to be stealing and would have to pay the conquences Stealing is stealing. How can we prosecute the students that broke in Croosroads and stole items, if we can't or want do the same for your supposely true bulldog. What examples you are setting for our kids. As far as the middle school are you really handling the situation at the Middle school, it should have been handled, weeks ago. But i guess someone had to bring that scandal to the light also in order for the process to really get started and not have it swept under the rung. [Name redacted] aren't you married. What a shame. I thought you were better than that, but oops I forgot you did form a interview committe for the assistant principal job opening, in which you gave Tam the questions. You knew who was going to be the new assis. principal before you formed this committee. Why have a committe if you knew who you were going to pick, wasting the teachers time during the fall break. You knew as well as the interview committee that there were more highly qualified teachers, who interview was outstanding, and was highly qualified than Tam. But the interview committee had no say so. Tam doesn't even have a specialist degree yet, but the majority of the applicants does. He has only been teaching for 4 yrs, and you had some teachers who had been teaching for over 10years who work at the middle school and was highly qualified. When scandal like this hit the news the people doing scandalist things should be very careful. Yes it is a shame that we as a community is gossiping, but gossiping about what is right is okay. To the BOE members I am ashamed, and appalled by you not taking action. How can you condone this type of behavior? You as BOE members should never prosecute students in tribunals, if you can't prosecute this man. I agree with the peron who stated that if we condone behavior like this, then we need to take away, Cross Roads, ISS, OCS and even suspension for that matter.

19 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:05 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Nice Job - McDuffie 12:24 AM Mar 24, 2007
This is addressed to Main Points and Try Again the real educator - nice job. These are the kinds of comments that make a difference. They sound so much more meaningful that a mudslinging contest. And to the outsider from Warrenton - thank you for your words of support.
Posted by: Seeing Clearly - Thomson 12:25 AM Mar 24, 2007
As I see it, all of this talk relates in one Whether it is stealing, or playing favorites,squelching critism, blocking websites, or spending money consitutes ABUSE OF POWER, and it cannot be allowed in an institution where we are charges with teaching values and citizenship to our youth. It's time for Petersen to do the right thing and resign, and if he will not, the the board must do the right thing and fire him.
Posted by: SUSPICIOUS - Thomson 12:25 AM Mar 24, 2007
It is simply AMAZING that so many people know so much about PERSONNEL issues that are, by law, to be kept private - all PERSONNEL issues. Seems like there just might be a leak at the BOE. HMMMMMMMM!!!
Posted by: With It - Thomson 12:26 AM Mar 24, 2007
In repsonse to Get With It. I related the story of the person I met at a Mary Kay party. I am not a teacher, but am a college educated professional person. During the introductions at the party, I stated I was from Thomson. The young woman who was a teacher related her story to me, and everyone else within hearing range. She told me of having to extend her maternity leave due to the birth of a premature infant. During this personal ordeal, the principal at Norris Elementary where she worked did not agree with her need for additional time, and did away with her job. She eventually got tired of the fight and transferred to Euchee Creek Elementary School. This is from the individual who was injured by this man. It is not second hand information or gossip, and it was unsolicited information given by one professional person to another professional person. I am not posting this as gossip, but rather to make a point. Dr. Petersen's favoritism has allowed him to promise the principalship of the new school being built to this man without reqard to his character, and without regard to the accepted procedure of advertising the position so that the most qualified person will be given the job.

20 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:06 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Sickened - Thomson 5:34 PM Mar 23, 2007
[Web Producer's Note: Jerry Randolph has asked News 12 to clarify that the comment(s) posted below by a "J. Randolph" were not made by him.]
This is in regards to the comments sumitted by Jerry Randolph. I have questioned your morals and ideals since you were elected to the board of education, but I no longer have to. You have openly admitted that you are a man of little integrity. Stealing is against the law. Dr. Peterson as well as you are supposed to be men that people in the community respect and have high regards for. Well guess what? Jerry, just in case you did not realize, the United States of America is a free country. The citizens of this country are not under a dictatorship, even the teachers! Dr. Petersen is not Hitler just a wannabe. The people who live and work in this county have a right to know what is happening in the school system. Taxes do pay for educational systems, Jerry! You can not be the only person in this county paying his taxes. You and all of the other board members were elected by the people in this community to represent us. We the people are speaking. I believe the loudest voices that the board members need to hear are those of the educators in this county. It is my understanding, that in the past, teachers were asked to give written evaluations on the assistant superintendants and the superintendant. I was told recently that since Dr. Petersen's arrival this has not been allowed. I Wonder Why??? I believe this might need to be implemented again. If the teachers are too scared to speak, they should be given the opportunity to share their concerns in some form. An annonymous evaluation makes perfect sense. Who is in the classroom with our children every single day? It is the teachers. Good teachers do not stay in schools where they feel unappreciated and belittled. From what I understand, the stealing of funds is just the icing on the cake!

Posted by: ThomsonBulldog - Thomson 12:23 AM Mar 24, 2007
All yall folks on here hoping to get Petersen fired might as well forget about it and find something else to complain about.Petersen or nobody on the BOE is going anywhere.Petersen will retire in mcduffie county and make our athletic program and acedemics the best around.Petersen is here to stay along with Jerry Randolph and the rest of our BOE.

21 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:06 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Main Points - McDuffie County 4:57 PM Mar 23, 2007
Let's stay on the main point: 1) There are BOE employees who do not feel they can question the superintendent on expenses, financial reporting, or policy. 2) It is the policy of the McDuffie County Superintendent to censor web site access at his whim. 3) There is a lack of leadership from the BOE Board and its chairman when it comes to addressing the management of the BOE. Case in point, having the boat, trailer, and boat house on the agenda the week after the audit report was released. Bad call by everyone involved. 4) The BOE does not have a sense of openness when it comes to allowing the public access to the Board, schools, or administrators. The Board and superintendent appear very closed off and suspicious. 5) The Superintendent and the Board showed poor leadership when they allowed this situation to get this far. Whether it was asking the auditors to omit the items that were paid back by the superintendent from the report, the apparent sense of racial divide, or the ethical standards of our administrators, the Board dropped the ball by not addressing these concerns BEFORE they could be blown out of proportion. 6) We have embarrassed ourselves as a community by not dealing with this head on within McDuffie County. 7) We are doing a disservice to the young people in our schools by setting a poor example and not placing education at the top of our list of priorities. 8) We mismanaged our Title I money. It does not matter whether the money was Title I or General Fund dollars, we misreported a very important item to the state. If we can not manage our Title I funds better than that, we have a management problem. 9) We have a school system in chaos. The Board of Education members should call a town hall meeting to address these issues immediately, in public where they belong. As our elected leadership at that board, they OWE IT to the people of McDuffie County to settle this one way or another. Ultimately, we have to reconcile this situation and put it behind us. WE ARE BETTER THAN THIS!!

22 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:06 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Try again - Thomson 4:57 PM Mar 23, 2007
Posted by: Real Educator - Thomson 5:31 PM Mar 22, 2007 First of all, you don't know for sure that "all" of these comments have come from Teachers. We teach because we WANT to. Don't you know that we are smart enough NOT to visit this web address at school. Please---We are all aware that our computers are watched VERY CLOSELY at the board office!(One more way to impose that silent iron-hand.) So rest assured we are not wasting precious time at school for such nonsense. Unfortunately, we don't have enough time to do the teaching we are so passionate about, because of AYP, testing, etc. Second of all, you try going to work everyday wondering if you are being targeted, watching fellow educators that are being targeted. Fear of being fired is bad; fear of being targeted is tenfold! On top of this fear, we still close our doors and try to reach all the needs of our students, academic, social, and emotional, pay our bills, rear our own children, and make a differnce in our community.It all sounds so out of this world ---but it is not. The trash talk is sad, but comes from countless minutes, hours, days, years of having to sit silently by and watch our beliefs, dreams for our students, and lots of hard work be swept under a mat. Lack of respect for us as individuals and educators has resulted in terribly low teacher morale and research shows this does directly affect the educational success of our students. So, walk a mile in our shoes! I don't understand why system employess have had to read about all of this (audit and the boat) in the paper. I would have had more repect for Dr. Petersen had he come to us as a faculty and been upfront with us. Dr. Petersen, what is the Rennaissance Solution? How do we regroup and move on from here? We need a plan, don't keep us in the dark any longer. "From Good to Grim" is where we are and it is not good enough for McDuffie County-Spring is the time for new life, no better time than the present. Please pray for our administrators, teachers,staff, and our students.
Posted by: Notbuying it - Thomson 4:57 PM Mar 23, 2007
To Get with It: Perhaps you had better get your facts straight about the sex scandal before you speak. The summer the female principal was getting her divorce, and right before the male one started getting his, she would drive her car to his school several times a week and park away from the front door and behind a dumpster and then enter the school to "collaborate" with the other principal for several hours. The only problem with this little trist was that there were other BOE employees and students in the buildingv for summer school. They were not hidihg anything. Soon after, they became a couple of divorced principals living together in Augusta. Finally they had the decency to marry. This is theman who has bee promised the principalship of the new middle school without advertising the opening to other BOE employees. What are we teaching our children. Sex,Stealing,and football. Well, I have girls, and this does not fly with me.

23 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:07 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: D.J. - Thomson area 4:19 PM Mar 23, 2007
To the real Jerry Randolph. I am relieved that you did not relly post those remarks. I voted for you. I know that you are a good and fair man and that you will be open minded and listen to what the people are saying. I know that you will not leave the voters disappointed. You owe it to us to listen to our worries. You will do what you can to see that the right thing gets done whatever that is. Mainly, you would not ever just tell people that you support a thief and not listen to the whole problem.
Posted by: outsider - Warrenton 4:47 PM Mar 23, 2007
I am an outsider looking in. All these postings about people's personal lives is irrelevant. Parents and educators alike, teach children that nothing fruitful ever comes from gossip. The focus should be on the education of the children. Parents, if you have a problem with the school or the school system, it is your right to voice your opinions and concerns to teachers and administrators. A strong community(parents and businesses)and school partnership helps foster student achievement. As far as the McDuffie County Board of Education is concerned, the community needs to rally together and exercise its political rights. If you aren not satisfied, let them know. You are the reason they have the job in the first place. Airing the school system's dirty laundry is not the way to go. Don't just talk about it!! Be about it!

24 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:07 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: trying to make sense of it - McDuffie County Georgia 4:08 PM Mar 23, 2007
Although I think that the way "Get with it" may have worded things might have been harsh and even a little offensive, I have to agree with the general point that he or she made. The mud has been slung in so many directions on this site that it is hard to sort out exactly what the main point is. I dont think it matters how well versed or good at grammar a person is. But, I do think that it is important to keep to the facts and not use this just as a free for all. There are a lot of things that need to be changed. But for now, it needs to be more focused on the corruption that was brought to the public's attention by the news. As for the other people's indiscrepencies or lack or qualifications - I don't know. But what we do know is fact about Petersen. At this time, he is the one that we need to focus on. Obviously the BOE isn't going to wipe out all of its administrative employees based opinions. But if we speak out about Petersen - one that we do have facts on, then they will listen to that and maybe something can get done there. It would be a good start. Like Get With It, I am afraid that having a free for all that draws attention away from the main point might make the people who can do something take it less seriously. Looking through all of the posts - if i didn't know better - would look like everyone saw an opportunity to slam their boss or anyone in the county they have had a run in with. There is no such thing as a school system or a company where people won't relish in teh opportunity to smudge the name of the higher ups. I don't think this is the case with Petersen, but just looking at the writings here without knowing the facts it sure could look that way. Especially with people writing under other people's names, etc. Mad and upset, I am not trying to criticize you or belittle your anger and opinion. I agree with you that Get With It took the point they were trying to make a little too far. But to be fair - they didn't call "us" uneducated hillbilly's. The person said that is what they are scared an outsider would think if they read some of these postings. Just thinking about how people already look at those of us from rural areas, some of the things that have been posted make it look like the shoe fits. I have to agree that I dont want that either. No matter what your education is or how good you can spell or write, if you are going to put something out for the public to see and you want it to make a difference, you really do need to sound like you know what you are talking about. Some of the things I have read here do not sound very good at all and give a negative image of people in our county. I guess the point is that if the people who write on this page are on a mission to get something done or changed, then they need to do as good of a job as possible and not just write a bunch of stuff that makes it look like the whole county has gone to pot. I love our town and I want the best for us. I just dont think this is the best way to get it.

25 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:07 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Heather Meadows, News 12 Web Producer - North Augusta, SC 2:39 PM Mar 23, 2007
Three officials in the McDuffie County school system have contacted News 12 to let us know that their names were used in these comments without their permission. From this point on I will be removing all last names from posts.
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Thank you all for your civil and thoughtful contributions to this story.

26 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:08 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Upset and Mad - Thomson 1:57 PM Mar 23, 2007
I have sit back and have been reading all the comments not bothering to state my feelings. While I feel like the majority of the citizens of Thomson/McDuffie County PetersEn needs to go. While I agree the subject at hand is PetersEn and I will be nice and state the mishandling of funds. To Get With It you state that one should do their homework before stating facts especially if coming from a hairdresser or someone at a Mary Kay Party. If I can remember correctly the person that stated what she heard at a Mary Kay Party came directly from the horse's mouth. Remember she was the teacher that was forced out of McDuffie School System because of her child's health problems. I would say that telling someone what they had to endure was the facts and not hearsay. I also agree that two divorced adults that chose to get married regardless of their occupation should be no big deal. Here again, Get With It, you again failed to do all your homework and get all of your facts. These two people who happened to both be principals in the same school district was having an affair while both were still married. Yes they were divorced when they finally got married. Did they really have a choice?? They somehow had to save face. The community didn't take their love affair very kindly. They too need to move to another County for the sake of the little girl. As long as they are around and people see them they will continue to talk. Imagine the gossip that this little girl is going to have to endure when she gets older. By the way I am not the hairdresser. I will say that I am someone that is close to the situation and know the facts. While the subject of PetersEn at times went by the wayside. The issues and problems expressed are all filed in the same boat. I think that I can be safe and say that the majority of citizens of Thomson/McDuffie County do not want these people that are dishonest,untrustworthy and lack moral values to be leaders of our children. To me this is not how educated, good common sense people get things accomplished. BOE members please listen to the majority of your voters. There is one more thing Get With It how rude, and insensitive, to call people who may not be as educated and well verse as you, Uneducated Hillybillys. Don't bother to correct my spelling or sentences I know I got the point across and as everyone else who may have had mistakes.

27 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:08 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Jimmie Wilson - Thomson 1:56 PM Mar 23, 2007
I am switching to Chanel 12. Thank you, producers and investigaters, and Laurie Ott, for bringing this story to the light. The truth should be heard, and it should not be sugar coated like the newspaper made it out to be. I was surprised to find out this audit was done a while back. Why did it take so long for the citizens of McDuffie to hear about it? I am really suprised by the board's procrastination to respond and take action. It's time for the citizens to stand up. I am also baffled by the comments about our principals. What people do in their spare time is their business; BUT Now, what people do with our tax dollars, that is certainly our business. No one has the right to stop teachers or anyone else from speeching there mind and sharing their concerns. It's called FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Aren't teachers the people who teach and watch over our children. Who would know better than them. If the teachers don't feel comfortable then there is definitely something wrong. That in itself should be enough for the board to take action and find a solution. No one has the right to steal without being held accountable. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE? Does the board have a backbone or did it get eaten by that infamous "dark cloud". Can one man have supreme authority over an entire community. It seems that way. It's ironic that the thomson newspapers' stopped talking about this story, but chanel 12 didn't stop. Chanel 12 listened to the people and reported the facts. The board should do the same. I agree with Mr. Bob Smith, it's time for a change and it is time to STAND UP.

28 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:08 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: That's the Problem - Thomson 1:54 PM Mar 23, 2007
That is the problem....too many people (Board members too) see McDuffie County's priority as athletics. Don't you think it is a little more important to focus on the education of ALL our students rather than just the athletic performance and opportunities for the small percentage of our collective student body who participates in sports? Yes - it is great to be able to boast about having a great athletics programs...but as superintendant, the main objective should be education. Mr. Thomson Bulldog - I didn't hear you mention anything at all about that! And Mr. Randolph, you were elected to serve on the Board of EDUCATION, not the Board of ATHLETICS. Whether or not the person who leads our district is a "true bulldog" or not has very little value to parents who want their students taught in a quality system. Right now, I think our teachers and most administrators do a fine job of providing top-notch learning experiences. But if they are this unhappy, you and other BOE members owe it to everyone in McDuffie County to at least not turn a blind eye. Supporting him is one thing (which is your right), but dismissing everything your constituants feel about the situation is unacceptable. Lots of the stuff on this site is hogwash - but you owe it to Thomson to sift through and figure out how to address those concerns which are legitimate. And while you are at it - start thinking how much further most of our kids can get through good education as opposed to high-dollar athletics.
Posted by: Dear ThomsonBulldog - Thomson 1:54 PM Mar 23, 2007
You are obviously a coach or someone who puts very little value on education. I notice that you didn't mention anything positive that Petersen has done other than to support the athletic program. That is sad. Not sure that it says worse things about your for your priorities, or if you really couldn't find anythign else positive to say about him. Either way - not a good sign for our town!

29 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:08 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: J. Randolph - Thomson 11:21 AM Mar 23, 2007
I support Peterson 100%, even if he did steal. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes. I'm glad he blocked the website from all the schools. Teachers should not be writing this mess at school. Teachers do not need to be responding to these ludacris comments at all. I wish we could block it from their homes too. I barely made it through high school,but I don't need to have a formal college education to be a good board member. It takes common sense and a heart to forgive. It doesn't matter what people want and say. What matters is that we do the right thing and continue to support our leader. He is a great man and you all need to leave him alone. A leader should be in control and be able to make big decesions, and you have to give him some credit for admitting to his mistake. The boat was for educational purposes. The assistant superintendent is not getting fired, we just no longer have a use for her position. As far as the principals and assistant principals are concerned, there will be some changes at almost every school. We are handling the situation at the Middle school. No Police report has been filed. Please stop spreading rumors. WE SUPPORT YOU MARK!! You have always been a true bulldog.
Posted by: how do you know? - Thomson 11:30 AM Mar 23, 2007
Teacher - How exactly is it that you know that these principals were engaging in sex while married? Were you there with them? Unless you witnessed this or "caught them yourself", I would guess this is based on the "word around town." Seems to be no shortage of opinions and non-fact based gossip on this site! And - "teacher" - in the middle of the day when this posted, why aren't you either teaching or planning? Become a housewife like myself so you can watch real soap operas on tv - not help create them in your own hometown by spreading things that you couldn't possibly have evidence of! It would also excuse you from not teaching when you are supposed to be. You are adding to the county's problem by not supporting the system you signed up to be a part of. Shame on you!
Posted by: ThomsonBulldog - Thomson 12:15 PM Mar 23, 2007
Dr.Petersen im am behind you 100%.You are doing a great job with our school system and athletic program.I think the next move you need to make is to fire head basketball coach Micheal Thomas this man has wasted more talent than you can shake a stick at.With the talent we have had over the years we should have several state titles in basketball.Im still waiting for the brickyard to be remodeled.I admire the guts you have to make the tough descisions our atletic program has never been in better hands.I love the fact that you go after the best possible coaches and are willin to show them the money because that is what you have to do these days.Please done resign i hope you stay here until you retire.I love the way you support our programs.You along with the board of education in mcduffie county have my full support.Hang in there.

30 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:09 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Get With It! - McDuffie 9:33 AM Mar 23, 2007
Come on people! I agree with many of the concerns that have been brought up, and I think it is fine for people to post educated opinions that need to be heard. But really - many of the things I am reading make community members look more like fools that the leadership you are complaining about. First of all, the man's name is PetersEn - not sOn. I would venture to say that if you can't even spell the man's name (teacher or not) then you probably don't know enough about him to qualify you to post something worthy of people taking note of. Again, I don't agree with any of the things that Petersen does in his leadership, but I am proud to have more common sense than to just spout off about things that I don't truly understand. Once you do your homework and get the facts - then post what you find rather than just reporting the things you heard at the hairdresser or a Mary Kay party. (I can't believe people actually used those places as references - how embarrasing. Also - the article is about Petersen, so that is who you ought to respond about. This isn't the place to bash everyone in the county you have a grievance with. Why not? Because when you start to make a whole group of people look bad, then among them, Petersen doesn't look so bad after all. Stick to the topic if you want results. While slanderous name calling may be fun to some folks, it is not productive - knowing what you are talking about and coming forth with relative things that are true - not hearsay - are how you get people to move past being stirred up over gossip and into taking action. The manner in which some of these postings were written would quickly make an outsider think that our leadership is no worse off than the uneducated sounding hillbiilys who write in without being able to spell or write a complete factual sentence. Is that what you want? No - not if you want results, it's not! To the person who gets their "facts" fromthe hairdresser - get real. You can't even teach in the state without college - much less be an administrator. I can assure you that information is not correct. To the lady who is concerned about the # of blacks hired...I am all for equality - but 52% have to apply before they can be hired! We can only hire from the pool of applicants that are given. Maybe you should suggest that your son or daughter go into education so that we can fix your concern. Meanwhile - stay on topic - this has nothing to do with the subject at hand. Petersen doesn't hire the teachers anyway! And - sex scandal, I think might be a bit of an exaggerration for two divorced adults who happen to both be principals and have chosen to marry. More sensationalism from the hairdresser - everybody loves to make the story sound better than it really is. I am not trying to say not to voice your concerns. Just make it sound like you know what you are talking about before you do it on a public forum. If you are really concerned about this county, be more involved in your child's education, know what is going on and give your valid input when it is needed - not just when it becomes a sensational form of entertainment. That is how educated, good common sensed people get things accomplished!
Posted by: Bulldog - Thomson 11:01 AM Mar 23, 2007
I am a big supporter of Petersen and the job he is doing with our school system and the improvements he is making in our athletic program.He has made some tough descisions on hiring and firing coaches.All of them were for the better.To say Mark daniel will automatically get the head coaching job when welsh retires is wrong i think they need to atleast let people apply.Can somebody tell me more about this sex scanadal?Im a big supporter of Petersen but if he stole money that is plain wrong and against the law.
Posted by: Teacher - Mcduffie 11:08 AM Mar 23, 2007
Is it right for the coutny to support an adulterous principal. In fact both of the principals were still married during the time of the sex scandal. Is this the kind of leaders we want in our schools?

31 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:09 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Facts - Thomson 9:22 AM Mar 23, 2007
Did you know - That when Mark Daniel was named Offensive Coordinator - some of the coaches didn't know they were looking for someone to fill that position at that time. It wasn't offered to any one already on staff. Did you know - That Coach Holder turned down the offer of Varsity Baseball Coach, but then decided to take it after he was approached a second time because he got "an offer he couldn't refuse". Did you know - That Coach Daniels wife wasn't Maxwell Elementary's first choice to fill a teaching position, BUT the administration was told by Dr. Petersen to hire her anyways. Did you know - that when Dr. Newton was removed as principal at Thomson Elementary that her position was not posted. Dr. Petersen had already hired someone. There were no interview committees set up to find a new principal. There was no input from the staff at TES. One day Dr. Newton was gone and the next Mrs. Cummings was there. (nothing against Mrs. Cummings - you are doing a great job) Did you know - that over a year ago Mr. Rhodes was named as principal of the new school and this was way before they ever broke ground for it. I didn't see that job posted anywhere. I'll bet there are several other educators in McDuffie County that would have been interested in and very qualified for that position. Did you know - that Coach Daniel is apparently going to be the next Head Football Coach after Coach Welsh retires. That's what it said in the paper when he first came here and that's how he was introduced at church. First off all, can't you wait until Coach Welsh does retire and second of all what if one of the other coaches would be interested in that position? My point being that Dr Petersen does run the school system like a dictatorship. I want my children to have the best, most qualified teachers - not one that had to be hired because her husband is a coach. A large part of the population is employed by McDuffie County BOE and cannot speak out for fear of losing their job. As you can tell by these comments the MAJORITY are unhappy with Dr. Petersen as superintendent. How can the children have a good learning environment if there teachers are unhappy? Through the Renaissance Program every child is supposed to be rewarded. There seems to be a lot of money sunk into this program. Does it really help them with "real life". I get up everyday and go to my job. I have no unexcused absences. I have not been tardy. I have behaved well. BUT I am not rewarded - It is expected of me and I get a paycheck and keep my job. The Biscuit Bandit doesn't even come visit! It doesn't matter how badly the BOE is decorated or which principal is married to who. What matters is the educators, not staffulty, of McDuffie County are treated fairly and feel like they can voice an opinion. If they are happy then they can be more producitve teachers for our children. I want to thank WRDW for giving McDuffie County citizens amd educators the chance to voice their opinion without being afraid of being fired. I hope that the members of the Board of Education will listen to us. Your community is not happy with the way the school system is being run.
Posted by: Interested - USA 9:31 AM Mar 23, 2007
Laurie Ott, would you consider coming to the April board meeting? Give McDuffie County a chance to be seen and heard. If they are truly concerned about the welfare of the school system they will come out. Right, Thomson???

32 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:09 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Accounted For? - Thomson 9:37 PM Mar 22, 2007
Yeah, the only thing accounted for is the fact that Mark Peterson and his wife are still in our town. To the board members what do you thing you are doing? We voted you in and looks like we are going to have to vote you out! Why don't you stand up and do what we elected you to do. We want Peterson gone NOW! This isn't just about the money but because he is such a cruel and nasty person. Matter of fact, lets just clean house at the BOE and start all over again.
Posted by: Who are they? - Thomson 9:38 PM Mar 22, 2007
First of all, Anne Knox and Bob Smith are not the only members of our community and while they are very important people we all are! There are people who like what Peterson in doing, could it be because they like to steal too? Our thoughts do matter so lets stick together. Write letters to the BOARD MEMBERS and show up to the next board meeting. Let's crowd the place out to show that we want Peterson gone!
Posted by: concerned citizen - Thomson 9:18 AM Mar 23, 2007
This whole fiasco is not brought on by any disgrunteled parents, friends of coaches,etc. This is in reference to whoever responded under the name of ASHAMED. You are evidently snow-balled with blind ignorance, a lot like our board members who are in support of this tyrant (with the exception of one board member). And on a side note, a 500 record for any sport is not "HORRIBLE". What is horrible is your support of a person like Peterson. Or then again, you must be one of the "hind kissing" members of his regime.
Posted by: LDS - Mcduffie County 9:18 AM Mar 23, 2007
You have no real idea on what the money was spent. Everything was done kosher. For the lady who was complaining about it being blocked. Many catagories at the corporate level are blocked by firewalls. That happens all the time.
Posted by: concerned citizen - thomson 9:19 AM Mar 23, 2007
well whether it is a pennie or thousands of dollars if is wrong to misuse funds.Would Dr. Peterson have paid the money back if he hadn't been caught.Who knows how much more he would have use for his on personal use.He makes good money,but i guess he would rather spend tax payers money instead.Doesn't the chairman review expenditures made by the BOE.If he does this should have threw up a red flag.I think the chairman and the superitendent should resign.He is of course the man in charge he so claims.Anybody who questions anything he does or wants to do he blows up at them and shouts them down.The good ole boy system has to go.Dr Peterson has done some good things for the school system,but he is not above the law. I use to be a supporter of him but i can't support him anymore.It is time for hime to step down and so does the chairman need to step down.the buck stops with him.

33 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:10 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Accounted For? - Thomson 9:37 PM Mar 22, 2007
Yeah, the only thing accounted for is the fact that Mark Peterson and his wife are still in our town. To the board members what do you thing you are doing? We voted you in and looks like we are going to have to vote you out! Why don't you stand up and do what we elected you to do. We want Peterson gone NOW! This isn't just about the money but because he is such a cruel and nasty person. Matter of fact, lets just clean house at the BOE and start all over again.
Posted by: Who are they? - Thomson 9:38 PM Mar 22, 2007
First of all, Anne Knox and Bob Smith are not the only members of our community and while they are very important people we all are! There are people who like what Peterson in doing, could it be because they like to steal too? Our thoughts do matter so lets stick together. Write letters to the BOARD MEMBERS and show up to the next board meeting. Let's crowd the place out to show that we want Peterson gone!
Posted by: concerned citizen - Thomson 9:18 AM Mar 23, 2007
This whole fiasco is not brought on by any disgrunteled parents, friends of coaches,etc. This is in reference to whoever responded under the name of ASHAMED. You are evidently snow-balled with blind ignorance, a lot like our board members who are in support of this tyrant (with the exception of one board member). And on a side note, a 500 record for any sport is not "HORRIBLE". What is horrible is your support of a person like Peterson. Or then again, you must be one of the "hind kissing" members of his regime.
Posted by: LDS - Mcduffie County 9:18 AM Mar 23, 2007
You have no real idea on what the money was spent. Everything was done kosher. For the lady who was complaining about it being blocked. Many catagories at the corporate level are blocked by firewalls. That happens all the time.
Posted by: concerned citizen - thomson 9:19 AM Mar 23, 2007
well whether it is a pennie or thousands of dollars if is wrong to misuse funds.Would Dr. Peterson have paid the money back if he hadn't been caught.Who knows how much more he would have use for his on personal use.He makes good money,but i guess he would rather spend tax payers money instead.Doesn't the chairman review expenditures made by the BOE.If he does this should have threw up a red flag.I think the chairman and the superitendent should resign.He is of course the man in charge he so claims.Anybody who questions anything he does or wants to do he blows up at them and shouts them down.The good ole boy system has to go.Dr Peterson has done some good things for the school system,but he is not above the law. I use to be a supporter of him but i can't support him anymore.It is time for hime to step down and so does the chairman need to step down.the buck stops with him.

34 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:10 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Heather Meadows, News 12 Web Producer - North Augusta, SC 5:51 PM Mar 22, 2007
Apologies once again. In the process of retrieving the comments on the older story, I had to turn commenting back on, and another comment went through. When that happened, it made the full list of comments too large to put in one document, so I had to split the comments across two pages. You can find the links to both pages of comments on the original story.
Again, apologies for the inconvenience!

Posted by: McDuffie Parent - McDuffie 9:35 PM Mar 22, 2007
What is going on in this town? I am concerned about my childern and their well being. Some commented about racial issues in the county and for so long I wondered why in a school system that has 48% white and 52% black only have maybe 12% black teachers for our childern. PARENTS I am calling out to you to WAKE UP!! I have heard that some principals have had the nerve to say that there are no qualified balck teachers out there. I have a question for you "ARE YOU LOOKING?" I want to see how many black teachers are hired in McDuffie this school term. Where my son goes to school there maybe about five black teachers in the whole school and one black assistant principal but the numbers are off didn't I say the population of black students in the county was 52% so why can't school have a staff that is almost 50% or reflect the students that they teach. I AM UPSET ABOUT THIS AND PARENTS WAKE UP!!! STAND UP FOR OUR KIDS!!! MORE MINORITIY TEACHERS IN OUR SCHOOLS.
Posted by: concerned citizen - Columbia County 9:36 PM Mar 22, 2007
I want to comment about the posting that refered to the Good OL Boy system. I find it funny that I was at the hair dresser about 9 months ago and heard someone talking about a teacher moving into an administrative position with only three years teaching experience and no college. When I went back to get my hair done they told me that the teacher got the job. I know for a fact that my friend was way MORE qualified than the teacher, he has been teaching longer and has more education. COME ON THOMSON THE GOOD OL BOY SYSTEM MUST DIE IN ORDER FOR THE SYSTEM TO GROW AND BECOME FAIR FOR THE KIDS THAT YOU SERVE!!!
Posted by: concerned citizen - thomson 9:37 PM Mar 22, 2007
What about the sex scandal? I heard the BOE is covering things up as well. This principal needs to be fired too. But look at the leader, he is getting away with his crime. I remember an assistant principal that was fired in the county for doing an evaluation wrong. What about the principal having sex or marrying another principal while his wife works in the county. WHAT IS GOING ON IN THIS TOWN? MY CHILD WILL NO LONGER BE IN THE SYSTEM. I THINK SHE WILL BE SAFE HOME SCHOOLED!

35 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:11 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Heather Meadows, News 12 Web Producer - North Augusta, SC 3:22 PM Mar 22, 2007
No problem. It's obvious that this is a very sensitive issue for McDuffie County!
Posted by: citizen - Thomson 3:33 PM Mar 22, 2007
It;s amazing that there are no comments left on the original report. I talked with a board member yesterday who assured me that they felt that Dr. Peterson had done no wrong and that they were working with people to stop the talk in McDuffie County. Our board is blind. I don't know what wrdw's reason for taking down the comments is, but IO do know that there are a lot of people in McDuffie County who have been injured, abused, lied to, manipulated by, and otherwise misled by Dr. Peterson and his favorites. It's time that we clean house at the school system and board. There are those of us in Thomson who will not be silenced.
Posted by: Heather Meadows, News 12 Web Producer - North Augusta, SC 4:41 PM Mar 22, 2007
Okay, I was able to get the old comments out of the system. I put them inside the original story. Click here to see them.
I apologize that our software hides comments after two weeks. This same thing will happen to the comments on this page as well.

We are currently looking into a different commenting system that will hopefully solve this problem, but we don't know yet when it will be available.

Posted by: Kate - Thomson 5:51 PM Mar 22, 2007
I am both a parent of McDuffie County students and a member of the media. As such, I do not feel it is my place to pass judgement on Mr. Petersen. I will say that I brought my children to McDuffie County from Richmond County, and I have been pleased thus far with their education. But... there is something that has been addressed in these comments that disturbs me. I have inferred that this website,, was once accessible from McDuffie County BOE computers and has now been blocked. Please correct me if I'm wrong. If this is the case, however, it is a marked example of Fascism and it concerns me to no end. No matter what the quality of education my children are receiving, if those sorts of ideals are being practiced in their school system, I think I would rather they be back in Richmond County.

36 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:11 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Concerned - Thomson 2:32 PM Mar 22, 2007
What was the reason for the 11:00 news. What happen to the news normally shown at 5:00pm, 6:00pm. Everything else is usually shown on the news at the listed times. It has not yet been seen in the McDuffie Progress where local people and the county tax payers is made aware of the the things going on in the County where their tax money is being paid.
Posted by: mom in mcduffie - mcduffie county 2:33 PM Mar 22, 2007
I see they have taken down the comments on the other story. I wonder if Peterson was fussing and made them take it down. I hate to tell him the citizens will not be silenced just because he mangaged to get wrdw to remove the other comments on this story.
Posted by: Jason B. Smith - The McDuffie Mirror 2:33 PM Mar 22, 2007
If you would like more information on this, please check out the story at We thoroughly covered this audit in our March 1 edition. If this story does not answer all your questions, feel free to send me an e-mail at Thank you for your interest in the continued improvement of McDuffie County.
Posted by: Heather Meadows, News 12 Web Producer - North Augusta, SC 2:40 PM Mar 22, 2007
No one asked us to remove the comments. We are a news organization; it is not our job to spin things any certain way, but instead to present the facts as we know them. It is not our policy to censor comments on this site (other than those which are ludicrously offensive).
I don't know why the comments disappeared, but it seems to be a technical issue. I am doing what I can to figure out what happened and bring them back.

Posted by: Heather Meadows, News 12 Web Producer - North Augusta, SC 3:03 PM Mar 22, 2007
Okay, we now know what the problem is.
The way our software is currently set up, comments are automatically turned off on stories that are older than two weeks.

Unfortunately, this is not something I can change. This is the same for all sites that use this software.

Right now I am working on getting the old comments out of the system so I can post them elsewhere for everyone to view.

Posted by: mom in mcduffie - mcduffie county 3:20 PM Mar 22, 2007
Thank you for clarifying that. My apologies for assuming wrongly.

37 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:11 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Anna Jones - Thomson 9:53 AM Mar 22, 2007
It is no surprise that the state auditors have found the missing funds we knew they would but that does not change the fact that there are problems. The amount of comments that have been made on the original breaking story have proven that Dr. Peterson is dishonest. He has said that he did not know that he could not spend school funds to take his wife to conferences. This has to be a joke. How could he not know? Dr. Peterson suffers from the I can not be touched bug. He seems to think if he has the board in his pocket then he can do as he pleases. The board has proven this to be true. The fact that the web-site was blocked from the schools in McDuffie county tells me that once again Dr. Peterson has stopped the buck. Well board members I wonder if he still feels that McDuffie county is the kind of place he could retire in. If I were Dr. Peterson I would be looking for a job before this school year ended. He sould be accountable to the PPC. This is clearly an ethics violation as was his decision to give out new positions that were unadvertised. Please, Please, Please, Board Members do not let this act of dishonesty go unpunished. Please call for his resignation. He took the money you can't just say "Oh, I'm sorry, let me write a check" in any other business. Why was this allowed by the Board.
Posted by: Ticked Off - Thomson 10:04 AM Mar 22, 2007
I, as a concerned Mcduffie County citizen, am disgusted with the way the our tax money was spent to benefit Dr. Petersen and his wife. I believe that I should voice my concern as a tax payer of Mcduffie County that the incompetence of our superintendent is not being equally punished considering it is a felony. Linda Schrenko was sentenced to prison time for doing the same thing and Dr. Peterson got his contract extended for stealing money from hard working tax payers. Doesnt that make you think?
Posted by: parent - mcduffie 10:06 AM Mar 22, 2007
how can he stand in judgement when a child makes a mistake and get kicked over to crossroad school for a long time and by the way this school is a joke in education he has made a mistake why not kick him over to crossroads for a while
Posted by: Concerned - Thomson 12:38 PM Mar 22, 2007
This is to the teacher that the made the comment about McDuffie County looking as bad as Richmond County. If the shoe fits then we need to wear it. I wouldn't call stealing and being dishonest the best interest or the number priority for our children. I'm just wondering what would happen if this would have been a teacher this happened to or anybody else as far as that goes. What will be next ???? THIS NEEDS TO BE NIPPED IN THE BUD NOW !!!!!!
Posted by: CONCERN PARENT - MCDUFFIE 2:07 PM Mar 22, 2007
Posted by: JOAN - MCDUFFIE 2:08 PM Mar 22, 2007
Posted by: Heather Meadows, News 12 Web Producer - North Augusta, SC 2:10 PM Mar 22, 2007
We aired this information in the 11 o'clock news on March 21. We are continuing to follow this story, and will bring you more information when we get it.

38 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:12 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Someone - Somewhere 12:24 PM Mar 30, 2007
It was mentioned below that the meeting on March 26th was not a regular board meeting, but a worksession with no agenda or minutes. The Agenda can be found: The minutes are available as well in a condensed form. The meeting was called to order and was adjourned. I do not know if action was taken by vote or not. It is not on the list of scheduled meetings that is on the BOE website. Apparently it was added. Did anyone see it in the McDuffie Mirror? As the legal organ all public meetings should be advertised if they are not on the published list. The only place outside the board office I saw this published was on the Eboard website above. BOE meets are public meetings, of officers elected by the public. There should never be a closed BOE meeting where a vote is taken behind closed downs, planning or otherwise. Votes should always be taken in a duly publicized meeting. Every person in the room should be listed as an attendee, including the media. No board member should ever consent to a call to order of a meeting that is not properly advertised and the public is not duly notified. They should vote "no" on the agenda approval to show their disagreement as a matter of public record. All minutes should be posted in full ont he Eboard website with the voting record clearly displayed. Once this starts happening you will be able to go online and see how your board member voted. All it takes is one BOE member calling for a rollcall vote for each vote so the members have to vote yes or no.
Posted by: Yeah right - Thomson 9:34 AM Mar 22, 2007
Yeah I bet they found something, but that still does not justify the stealing that Peterson did. My God, the man spent money on his wife and on himself. Thats over $500 dollars of federal money that is a felony and he should have to pay. Board members what are you doing allowing this man to contiune to lead our children.Nothing is accounted for until Peterson is gone.
Posted by: teacher - thomson 9:37 AM Mar 22, 2007
In the years that I have taught in McDuffie County, Peterson has been the most visible and easliy accessible superintendent I have worked for. He is visible at many functions and schools. I feel comfortable talking to him and he has been supportive of me and allowed me to freely express my opinions. I think that it is honorable that he says what he means and means what he says.There is no beating around the bush or keeping someone in a position that they are not suited for just because they have family members that are from the right families in the community. The 'good ole boy system doesn't work for him.I believe that he has the best interest of the students in mind.He expects everyone to meet the high standard that he has set even if it upsets people in the process- case in point the graduation testing/ ceremonies a few years ago. I do not find that fellow employees are scared to speak their mind- as that is all that they are doing, taking great pride in bashing their boss with smiles. This is probably why they have banned/blocked the site from the school system computers. People would sit around and read all day instead of teaching. He stands up for what is right and fair... if it does come out that he has stolen money, then yes he should be fired, however, people are using this as a forum to call names and mudsling.It should also be noted that he and the board and other BOE employees should be responsible as he can't sign the checks alone. Until he is found guilty, then we should stop the talk and remember that all the children in McDuffie County should be our number one priority.We are making ourselves look bad- almost as bad as Richmond county.
Posted by: Malissa - Thomson 9:47 AM Mar 22, 2007
Is that they should not cover up when the county has done wrong. They had to know what they were doing or they have someone doing the paperwork and don't know what they are doing

39 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:13 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Concerned - Thomson 3:26 PM Mar 30, 2007
I have yet to see this published in the McDuffie Progress so that people of this county knows whats going on with the school system. I guess they are trying to keep it as hush huas as possible like everything else. They don't have a problem putting any one else in their that breaks the law. I see it weekly but not this one.
Posted by: McDuffie Citizen - Thomson High 2:05 PM Mar 30, 2007
Why is it that McDuffie County's Board of Education meetings are not posted on their website. If it's 2007, why do have to come to BOE building and look for a paper tapped to the door? Even if the meetings are closed, shouldn't the agenda and minutes be publicly posted. Why is it that when you call the B.O.E, they pretend that they can't tell you any information on the phone. You can not hide public information. This is a federal crime. Tell the truth before someone goes to jail. These matters have gotten ridiculous and out of hand. We need to start talking to state and federal representatives and get these situations handled immediately. SUSPICOUS - Peterson and the board attorney know about the janitor and the principal, but they didn't do anything about it. The female janitor has three close faimily members who work for McDuffie County B.O.E. They have been working for McDuffie county for many years and do not want to risk losing there jobs and do not want there names dragged through the mud. No police report was filed and the B.O.E. will not investigate. I feel sorry for this young lady and her family. She has spoken out. Once again, the community needs to stand up and take control. When is this going to stop!! The allegedly sexually abused employee and her family are afraid, just like the teachers are afraid to show up at a board meeting, or go to this website. Peterson does have a undisputable record of firing on the spot, deleting positions, as well as creating them. He has the power, and no one seems to be able to stop him. Board, we are so disappointed in you. Chairman, you can forget about being on the board again. Community STAND UP! Virginia Stand up! BILO - Stand UP! REVs. Stand UP. J.R., we know where you stand. We appreciate your honesty. You knew he stole, but you feel that we should move on. Let's see how far we move.
Posted by: Anna - thomson 2:05 PM Mar 30, 2007
I took Pee Dee's advice and e-mailed the governor. I hope he has so many e-mails that he has to act. I also have e-mailed Cathy Cox since she is in charge of schools in the state. My question still remains why has Petersen not been reported to the PPC. This is clearly an ethics violation in more that one area. I ask that same question of the board in my first response to this act of deception. Why does Dr. Petersen have a different set of rules from other people in this county. Can his infraction be addressed? Does he have to answer to anyone?

40 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:13 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: citizen - thomson 8:30 PM Apr 1, 2007
I've only seen two or three people who have admitted to contactingf their governor or others. Other than procrastination, one of the problems with this is that they ask for personal information so that they can get back to us. Just a tip to the wise. If you want their response, give enough information for them to contact the person wrigint the e-mail. No one says you have to use your actual name. As for me, I used my maiden name. a grandmother or grandfather's name or friends name that you would recognize when they contact you will prevent Petersen and Rhodes from acidentally finding out who blew the whistle.
Posted by: 4your411 - mcduffie 6:34 PM Mar 30, 2007

  1. Concerned: McDuffie Progress reports crimes which are reported to police every week. They do not print "factual" stories based on things that are said on blogs. Beyond the original article and the findings of the auditors, there has been nothing else to report other than the things people are saying on here. Reporting things like this is the job of the Enquirer - not a local NEWSpaper. Big difference between actual news and reports from disgruntled citizens! 2.Someone: The BOE Budget Planning Session (not regular pulic board meeting) has been scheduled for months. In any system across the state, you will find that this is not an open meeting. It is not a voting situation, but - like the name says - a planning session. It is a time when things are organized for the following year in terms of allocating funds based on items which have already been voted on in the public meeting. 3. If the ALLEGEDLY sexually abused woman's family does not see fit to take further action, then obviously there is more to the story than you or any of us know. If they chose to drop it, then legally there is nothing else that anyone can do. As americans, I am pretty sure that you are innocent until proven guilty - obviously no one has been proven guilty of anything here. 4. Anna: Good for you for taking real action. Now you that you have done so, you can stop posting rhetorical questions on gossipy blogs and move on to more productive things. 5. Enough is enough: Hard to imagine how you would know for a "FACT" about other people's sex lives and "how they get their rocks off" (classy statement by you, by the way) you were a participant. The word fact means that you have first hand evidence. Otherwise, it is just gossip - even if it came from "someone who knows." If in fact you have first hand knowledge, then I sure am glad you aren't a principal, and that you see yourself on high enough a pedistal to worry about what other people do in the bedroom. Besides - as long as it is consentual and unless it involves something that is illegal or has to do with children, then I can't imagine how it would effect their job. Lots of very effective leaders in all areas of life have different things going on in their bedroms - it has nothing to do with their qualifications. And frankly - it's none of your business. I am not saying that's not a little weird, but its none of my business because it has nothing at all to do with anything. If you really don't know this for a FACT, then you must have your own issues and are using this as a public forum for the wrong purpose. Perhaps you should try a little variety yourself so you won't be so uptight about things! 6. We are on the same team. I don't care for Petersens style of leading our education anymore than anyone else on here. But all this twisted nonsense and incorrect stuff does nothing but weaken the entire purpose.

41 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:13 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Thomson Mom - Thomson 8:32 PM Apr 1, 2007
Continued to Jason Smith. He knew that the same people who overlook his other indiscretions in financial matters. He knew that these people were also governed by fear and intimidation, and that the fear of being fired on the spot was enought to have them overlook his misdeeds. All other BOE employees must have every t crossed and every I dotted before a reinbursement check is cut. Jason, I have known your parents since before your sister Megan was born. They are honest and decent people. Why are you forgetting any common sense that you have been taught and continually blinded by those who would deceive this community.?
Posted by: Fed up - Thomson 8:32 PM Apr 1, 2007
Okay, 4your411, how do YOU know how much of this is "twisted nonsense and incorrect stuff"? I happen to know firsthand that enough of it is factual to warrant real concern and immediate action.
Posted by: enough is enough - united states 8:31 PM Apr 1, 2007
1.4your411: You are right, This has nothing to do with his qulifications or children for that matter, but when someone conducts themselves In that way while still married without thier wives consent It does question thier morals. For me morals outweigh qualifications any day of the week.
Posted by: Mpm - Thomson 8:31 PM Apr 1, 2007
4ur411: I agree that this is not a forum for discussing personal bedroom practises, but, I moved here from Florida and was refreshingly surprised at what a conservative community this is. If there is rumor or hint of wrongdoing, whether sexual, moral,financial, or ethical with those in leadership positions with our children, they need to be scrutinized as closely and held to the same standard that we want Petersen held to in the financial arena.

42 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:14 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Teacher - McDuffie 8:34 PM Apr 1, 2007
Did anyone here read the articloe in the Mc?Duffie Progress and the editorial in the Thomson Times this week. First of all, the cover up continues. Of coiurse the people at the board office are not go ing to come clean until the threat of losing their job is gone And, as cor Jason Smith at the Thomson Times, we have to hide behind the anonymity of the internet if we want to keep our jobs. We went into teaching because we love it and we love influencing the lives of children. If we speak out publicly, then we get on Petersne or Rhodes list and then our jobs are just a matter of time. Yes, we have the option of going to another county to teach, but we were here when he cane, and we had an excellent school system then. We are invested in this community and do not want to leave. PEtersen needs to go and take the Rhodes couple with him.
Posted by: Thomson Mon - Thomson 8:33 PM Apr 1, 2007
Jason Smith: I read the article in the McDuffie Mirror this week about the BOE indescretions, and this blog as a misrepresentation of the facts. Thanks to your parents for sending you to college to learn investigativr journalism. I'm really sorry the didn't manage to teach you RIGHT FROM WRONG! No matter how you spin it, Mark Petersen was wrong when he used the BOE credit card to charge his wife's air fare and registration. UNLESS he is totally unlike most educated professional people in America today, he had at least one personal credit card in his pocket. Lacking that, he had a debit card for his personal checking account. He did not use personal funds or personal credit becuase he wanted to slide this one by the Board of education. He knew that those same people who are intimidated by his rule in the board office are the ones who would overlook his lack of following the same rules the other BOE employees are forced to abide by. NO other employee would dare do what he has done. They don't even turn in mileage reimbursement checks without odometer readings on them, or reimbursement requests without proper receipts. The other employees know that these forms will be returned unless they are properly documented. Why doesn't Petersen have to abide by the same rules. AND, Jason, he didn't reimburse the money until it was caught by the audit report. He got caught with his hand in the cookie jar and he needs to do the gracious thing and resign. YOur Mama and Daddy are smarter than that, what happened to you?

43 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:14 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Informed - Thomson 8:56 AM Apr 2, 2007
Well, according to our local newspaper, Paul LeRoy, one of our esteemed board members thinks there are people in this community on a witch hunt. Imagine that, he actually called Petersen a witch. If the shoe fits, wear it. We have to get rid of the man and his henchmen, and it looks like this will be Paul LeRoy's last term on the board of education. If a witch hunt is what it takes, so be it.
Posted by: parent - Thomson 8:55 AM Apr 2, 2007
To the teacher who posted on April 1: I hope you are not one of my child's teachers with your spelling!
Posted by: FYI - McDuffie 8:35 PM Apr 1, 2007
A planning meeting should have been a "planning meeting" not a meeting with personnel matters but there were personnel matters discussed. What about the undocumented credit card expenses? If anyone other than Petersen had not provided the proper documentation, then they would not be reimbursed. Employees will not go against anything Petersen says because if you do, you will lose your job. You do not disagree with the "MASTER". McDuffie County BOE has become a laughing stock. Everywhere you go, people are talking about how bad things are in our school system. Face it, Petersen, you will never have respect from anyone in this community. BOARD MEETING, APRIL 12TH 8:30 a.m. planning - 6:30 p.m. actual meeting.

44 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:14 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: enough is enough - united states of america 12:36 PM Apr 2, 2007
Thank you my fellow america for bringing this point to light. It seems to me that we are forgetting what this country stands for. We are not under one ruler that can demand that everyone follows their lead or else. This is america, and many lives we lost for the right of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, ect!!!! PeterSIN and Rhodes might have better careers in England.
Posted by: American - McDuffie 9:06 AM Apr 2, 2007
America the beautiful, "The land of the free", The home of the Brave. We have the freedom of speech. We live where the Majority rules. As I read your comments, I feel your fears and understand your passion for democracy. I am exhausted and outraged. I too have, in the very recent past had my own personal issues with Petersen. Some of you have contacted our governor, and Cathy Cox, as have I, to include the BOE in Atlanta but, on another issue. Some of you may be familiar with this, if not, allow me to inform you. One well respected citizen of Mcduffie county of 25 years, who will remain nameless, drove a school bus for Mcduffie County for 5 years and Loved it, she was well liked among her peers and the children who rode her bus. She had a bad day, as we all do, and she responded to a note from her Supervisor, with 3 words, "no profanity" but reguardless she was fired for it. She appologized to her supervisor but Petersen dismissed her anyway. A few months down the road another busdriver was "drinking on the job", failed a drug test, and had a prior drinking charge in the past, but still drives our children today. one of the comments that I read said, "we have the opportunity to get anohter teaching job in another county"' maybe you can, but that bus driver that was fired, tried after being forgiven by her supervisor, attending 2-3 board meetings, writing an official appology, meeting one on one with Petersen and her SUP and practically begging for her job back, but was unable to get her job back. She went to 2 other counties, needing only the "OKAY" from Petersen to began a new bus driver job in a different county, but was informed that Petersen would not give her a good reccomendation. Ask your bus drivers...they know who I speaking of, and they too will tell you what a wonderful, loving person of whom I am speaking of but most of all she was dedicated to the children, and still to this day is trying to work as a busdriver for McDuffie County. America the Free? Where you fear one man, he has the power to take your job from you, the power to prevent you from being hired at another location, the power to allow an unfit driver shuttle our children around, the power to spend the BOE's money any way he wants to, and I don't know about the rest of you, you know I was taught all of my life, everyone has a boss...obviously NOT Petersen. The response that I got in my quest for justice was that the buck stops with Petersen. He has the last say. There is no one to tell. So I ask you, where is the democracy in this, by reading this page I say the majority has ruled, get the man out!!! I mean this is America, Right!!!

45 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:14 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: PeeDee - Atlanta 1:23 PM Apr 2, 2007
I wrote a blog last week suggesting that all concerned parents, teachers and citizens and taxpayers of McDuffie County start contacting the governor and congressmen about the discontent with Petersen. Unfortunately my blog has been removed from the comment column. Some of the readers who did take my suggestion did write the governor, however others are scared they will be traced and lose their job. To the ones who really want to see a difference in McDuffie County you need to consider running for the School Board positions when it is time for new elections. You need a board who will listen to the people; you do not need puppets. Have interested parents who can't be fired make all the contacts. Get the story further than McDuffie County. Contact USA Today or AJC. With all this discontentment and teachers scared for their jobs this cannot be good for the children. This has to have an effect on how teachers are teaching and how principals are managing the schools. Put your energy into action.
Posted by: outsider lookink in - georgia 1:22 PM Apr 2, 2007
I here you can have five or six wives in some countries. Perhaps Rhodes would prosper in Enland or maybe the middle east.

46 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-02 20:15 ID:f1a93ESw

Posted by: Parent - Thomdon 2:04 PM Apr 2, 2007
I just read Heather Meadows comments, and it looks like this forum will end Wed. unless we do something. Each of needs to e-mail Laurie Ott, and anyone else we can think of in the media with an offer to submit actual details along with our name as long as she agrees to protect our privacy. We have to keep the story going until we get the system cleaned up.
Posted by: leroy - frogpond 2:03 PM Apr 2, 2007
Informed. What local paper did paul leroy comment in? It's more like a lynch mob!!

47 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-07 16:03 ID:D3fZHpa3

Posted by: Heather Meadows, News 12 Web Producer Location: North Augusta, SC
Here it is:

Posted by: Citiaen Location: Thomson
Heather Meadows: Would you please repost the site where all of the previous blogs are archived. I have It but for some reason I connot copy and paste it to this site.

Posted by: Thomson Mom Location: Thomson
I am thinking about taking my children out of McDuffie County Schools until the bad apples are removed from McDuffie.

Posted by: Very Important Location: Thomson
Don't forget the Board meeting next Thursday. Petersen has embarassed and threatened the residents of McDuffie County long enough.

Posted by: Heather Meadows, News 12 Web Producer Location: North Augusta, SC
Hello, Commenting is now re-enabled. The old comments are unfortunately gone. However, now comments should stay on the site for a full year. So if you want to comment here again, feel free to do so.

48 Name: thomson123 : 2008-01-30 14:45 ID:vYDeW6J4

I am so thankful our community offers a choice between private and public education. I attended Mcduffie Co. Schools and graduated in the late 80's. I send my children to the private school here in our community based on the experiences I had attending the public schools. Some of the teachers I had were not qualified to be around children. There actions as leaders and role models to children was far less than I deserved or any other child that was under there leadership. After reading about all the problems with the Mcduffie County School System I am very happy with the choice I made to send my children to the private school.

49 Name: Sad in GA : 2008-02-27 15:32 ID:V7ZvoB4x

If you people in Thomson spent as much time praying as gossiping, you would get a lot more done. Let you who are perfect cast the first stone. Gossip is as deadly a sin, just like robbery or murder. There is no ranking of sin in Jesus. You crucify and just do so on Gossip, just like with Jesus. Would you recognize Jesus if He stood by you in ragged clothes, humble with sandals in the winter time?! You would destroy a life just because you think you are right or you just have something to say and start up. Maybe you aren't right. Be careful, you may trade a good superintendent for one you THINK is better, like we have done so many times in government...thinking we would have a better governor or president. As far as knowledge, Dr. P is a christian and attempts to do what is right for the students and staff. He has a history of starting Renaissance and other programs and rewards that are student directed in every town he has been in. Most students and parents love him and his wife who give 200% to seeing they are cared for and recognized. They have provided so much for the children through seeking support when funding was not there. You need to know that if someone goes for the school system to achieve things for the school, then their way should be paid. Of course, they should take their wife if their wife works for the school system to take pictures, give recognition, provide celebrations, etc. How many wives work along side their husbands. Look at Laura Bush and others. I would hope you would gather together and support them and help them help your community and your students. I would hope you would unit so that they are working with you and not you working against them defeating the work they have and will do. If you have a problem go to the source, don't cower behind a gossip column as this.

50 Name: Sad in GA : 2008-02-27 15:33 ID:V7ZvoB4x

If you people in Thomson spent as much time praying as gossiping, you would get a lot more done. Let you who are perfect cast the first stone. Gossip is as deadly a sin, just like robbery or murder. There is no ranking of sin in Jesus. You crucify and just do so on Gossip, just like with Jesus. Would you recognize Jesus if He stood by you in ragged clothes, humble with sandals in the winter time?! You would destroy a life just because you think you are right or you just have something to say and start up. Maybe you aren't right. Be careful, you may trade a good superintendent for one you THINK is better, like we have done so many times in government...thinking we would have a better governor or president. As far as knowledge, Dr. P is a christian and attempts to do what is right for the students and staff. He has a history of starting Renaissance and other programs and rewards that are student directed in every town he has been in. Most students and parents love him and his wife who give 200% to seeing they are cared for and recognized. They have provided so much for the children through seeking support when funding was not there. You need to know that if someone goes for the school system to achieve things for the school, then their way should be paid. Of course, they should take their wife if their wife works for the school system to take pictures, give recognition, provide celebrations, etc. How many wives work along side their husbands. Look at Laura Bush and others. I would hope you would gather together and support them and help them help your community and your students. I would hope you would unit so that they are working with you and not you working against them defeating the work they have and will do. If you have a problem go to the source, don't cower behind a gossip column as this.

51 Name: questionable teachers : 2012-03-29 03:10 ID:YlzzqNeT

Why does McD Cty hire racist teachers? That hate people of color? They come here just to make MONEY. Thats it.

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