Jay Greeson

OK, amid all of the chatter about our public education, let's start with Hamilton County Schools' proverbial elephant in the room.

This story from TFP education reporter Meghan Mangrum includes this line: "[Mark] Hernandez is at least the fourth Hamilton County teacher or administrator arrested this year."

Hernandez, a former Brown Middle School teacher, has been arrested and charged with sexual battery and solicitation of a student. Three of those four incidents referenced by Mangrum were Hamilton County Department of Education employees engaging in inappropriate sexual relationships with students.

Yes, Hernandez seems like a scumbag. Yes, Hernandez is an outlandish outlier among the thousands of outstanding school district employees.

These are the people we are trusting with our kids, friends.


A pumpkin of a different color

OK, everywhere you look there is Halloween stuff.

Actually, Halloween was so late August. Thanksgiving was early October. Our retailers have moved on to Christmas — "Hey, don't touch my Yule Log" — by now.

But before the holiday commerce calendar cashes checks and clicks its counter, we have to believe that Bed, Bath & Beyond wants this Halloween season to fade to black as soon as possible.

Apparently BB& B had trotted out some all-black pumpkins this year. Cool, right? It's a holiday embraced by inky colors of darkness and all things scary.

Well, yeah, about that. Apparently, even on the face of a jack-o-lantern, black face is offensive.

Also of note, two of the great pumpkin experts of our time — Charlie Brown and Phil Fulmer — could not be reached for comment.


Obit observations

This week, for some reason, the obituary of Dorla Clark caught my eye.

Dorla was just short of 80 when she died last Sunday and, according to her obit, was a lifetime resident of Soddy-Daisy. There were a slew of things about her life that made me smile, ponder and wonder.

The smile? Dorla had "a lot of grandchildren she choose and they know who they are." That made me think of my momma, who took a pocket full of Skittles or Starbursts everywhere, just in case.

The ponder? Dorla's parents were Claude and Edna, and those are glorious names that simply put are sorely underused these days. If you have volunteered at a ballpark or in a classroom recently, there are way more Jordans, Peytons, Madisons and McKenzies. I believe we could use a few more Claudes and Ednas.

The wonder? I hope we all can have our obits read, "loved the Lord and raised her children to do the same" like Dorla's did.

Rest well.

Have a good weekend, friends.

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