Apparently, the heat is too much for the Hamilton County Board of Education.

See, when I was in school, the folks who did not want to look at their report cards were the folks getting Ds and Fs.

Well, our school board voted this week, 7-2, to call for state legislators to overturn an A-through-F grading system for all the school districts throughout the state.

Are local school officials prepared to do away with grades for students, too?

What a load of nonsense. Seriously, every time you get even an inkling there's one step toward progress at Bonny Oaks, there comes some silliness that serves as a cold slap in the face.

It's a school system where grades are as fundamental as blackboards and overworked, underpaid teachers.

Board chairman Steve Highlander said to this newspaper's Meghan Mangrum: "In nearly every case, not all, but nearly all of them, the 'F' schools are lined up pretty closely with schools that are highly free- and reduced-lunch [schools]. If a kid is in a school that is constantly labeled an 'F,' they will be unmotivated and wonder 'Why try?'"

Sweet buckets of everybody-gets-a-trophy.

First, do we really think kids — regardless of race or background — who are worried about where their next meal is coming from really give two hoots what grade the school got in terms of advancement in test scores?

Simply put, until our school board finds direction to fix the actual problems, this back-pedaling seems a way to cover up the dire straits our public schools face.

And if you don't believe that, answer this: If Hamilton County was one of the best school systems in Tennessee rather than one of the worst, do you think anyone over at Bonny Oaks would raise one eyebrow or voice one syllable of opposition for a run of straight A's on the state report card?

Nope, neither do I.

And here's one more hypothetical question for the seven folks who voted yea on this loony idea: What if a principal came to the board and said, "You know what, guys? I think giving students grades really makes some of the underperforming students sad. My staff and I voted 7-2 to do away with grades because, well, some of them seem unmotivated and are wondering, 'Why try?'"

Here's betting that a good school board — a school board looking to lead meaningful change — would challenge that principal and his staff to get those students to perform better rather than trying to hide those shortcomings.

Moving along

I try to have a little more fun on Saturdays, so sorry that got a little long.

As for the big story in college sports these days, did you see the FBI has NCAA basketball in its crosshairs?

Big story, right?

Here's one part I'd like to hear an answer to: With all the really scary things in our country right now and all the really cutthroat killers on corners everywhere, why are the Feds worried about which point guard got $400 from which agent?

Just wondering.

Saturday's gasbag

Gang, I prefer to end our Saturday chats with something positive. There's too much negativity, already.

Well, this week, negativity refused to yield.

Meet our very first Saturday Gasbag, one Dana Loesch, the NRA mouthpiece who had the nerve to offer this gem of wisdom: "The mainstream media love mass shootings. I'm going to say it again; the mainstream media love mass shootings and you, the #MSM, just put out the casting call for the next mass shooter."

Man, the media gets blamed for a lot of things, but what a load of garbage from a hate-monger who is trying to pull off a jazz-hands distraction routine.

To think anyone is less than outraged at the mass shootings is ludicrous.

As a media member — and with full knowledge that this profession is under extreme scrutiny daily and a lot of that scrutiny sadly is self-perpetuated by too many boneheads in this profession — Loesch's statement is the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

Hey, Dana, try asking Tracy Smith to talk about his military hero son, who was killed by that crackpot almost three years ago on Amnicola Highway, and then get back to me.

Until next time.

Contact Jay Greeson at and 423-757-6343.