Editor's note: the following is a letter to the editor sent by David Johnson, Hannah Rinehart's brother. Hannah passed away last month from a rare bacterial infection that led to blood poisoning. Her husband, Mark Rinehart, teaches math at South Gwinnett High School.
Prior to Hannah's death, Mark and David tried to get a policy changed regarding donated Paid Time Off (PTO). The current policy does not allow faculty members to donate their unused sick days to another teacher if their spouse is ill.
The following opinion is that of the author, and does not reflect the views of Patch or its employees.
For further background information, see the following stories:
- Family of Quadruple Amputee Pleads for School Board Policy Change
- School Board Denies Policy Change for Rineharts
- State Legislators: State Law Does Not Prohibit Donating Sick Leave to Mark Rinehart
- Walk-a-thon Scheduled for Operation Appreciation
- South Gwinnett's Sgt. Christopher Diaz: 'Mark Rinehart is our Battle Buddy'
- Rare Bacterial Infection Strikes Again
The Gwinnett County School Board and Superintendent need to go. Amidst the outpouring of love in the last few weeks of my sweet sister Hannah Rinehart’s life, the Gwinnett County School Board and Superintendent cast a pall with their callous disregard. Should these people have so much influence over our children? Hannah’s last weeks were without her husband, because of the GCSB and Superintendent’s moral failure.
My family’s experiences exposed this moral failure in the GCSB and Superintendent that I’m not sure can be fixed. These government power brokers are unfit to steward Gwinnett’s most precious resource. The school board needs to elect at least 3 new members to have the votes to hire a new superintendent. Only 3 seats are available for election. Ignore the party designations on the ballot. Vote against the incumbent.
Better yet, pull your children out from under their influence, altogether. You will never regret it. I have often worked multiple jobs so my wife could concentrate her work on schooling our children. The investment my wife and I are making into our children is priceless. My children embrace learning and we give them personal love and support as they learn. My encounter with the GCSB and Superintendent has reinforced the wisdom of our choice to provide Christian education to our children at home.
As I sought to help my sister and brother-in-law, I witnessed board meetings which were bloated with self-aggrandizing displays. Those that came before the GCSB and Superintendent seemed to kowtow in abysmal reverence before the elevated perch of the board. Why should this be? Public office should be synonymous with humility and service, not superiority and authoritarianism.
Let’s change what we can change. I encourage you to vote November 6th.