Truth is stupider than fiction, Bartow County edition

“In the beginning, God created idiots. This was for practice. Then he created school boards.”

DunceMark Twain’s famous saying about school boards is one of the epigraphs in my novel, Chain Gang Elementary. (The other one was courtesy of Bart Simpson.) I also use it to describe the actions of my local school board here in DeKalb, County, Georgia.

Truth is not only stranger than fiction, it’s also much stupider, as recent events involving a Bartow County (Georgia) school board member have shown. Board member Angela Cornett has resigned her seat on the Bartow Board of Education after surveillance video showed her driving into a pedestrian in a dispute over a WalMart parking space.  This event has now made national news, courtesy of the Today Show.

Two things: (1) It does not appear to be an accident (she was arrested), and (2) the space in dispute is next to an empty slot.

Mrs. Cornett is no stranger to controversy. She has drawn criticism for her behavior during a school board session back in September, when she called out a school teacher by name and aired her laundry in public. This has been captured in a Youtube video that has gained enough prominence to merit a commercial at its start. She should be proud that her tirade is sponsored. (Her contribution to good government begins at the 6:00 minute mark of the video.)

After seeing the school board video, the parking lot incident makes perfect, damnable sense.

Maureen Downey, in her Get Schooled blog, writes: “After watching the videos of the parking lot incident and the school board meeting, I have to wonder if there are any functioning school boards left in Georgia.”

There’s another thing. While this is a Chain Gang kind of story, I was struck by Mrs. Cornett’s delivery. For those of you have read my second novel, Brambleman, and wonder what the varmints sound like, well, whoop, there it is.

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