Letter – Tynes allows same  talk she rebukes

Published 7:44 pm Monday, December 12, 2022

Editor, The Smithfield Times

“Tongues have no bones, but how you use it can break a heart.” Chair Denise Tynes’ end-of-year comments started with this statement at the Dec. 8 Isle of Wight County School Board meeting.

The Rev. Willie Williams seemed to be just that. His comments were directed at newly elected board members: assuming their lack of education to lead, referencing them to dogs, “intents” to have a Black superintendent removed and having never had positive things to say; referring to them as “noise.”

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Blatant lies? In the past, he has called School Board member John Collick “white supremacist.” In my opinion, Rev. Williams’ speeches have been “noise.”

Maybe he didn’t understand their campaign as the majority of Isle of Wight County citizens who elected them did: candidates’ listed employment, protecting students and staff, education and expanding career and technical education, to list a few.

Rev. Williams waited through a four-hour meeting to make “noise.” Tynes followed with accusations while withholding the name of a frequent citizen to School Board meetings. There’s a few citizens who attend frequently. This led the public to guess who this was. I’ve been asked if it was me. No, it wasn’t.

Tynes took her leadership position without thinking of the consequences her words would make.

She’s yet to reprimand previous board member Michael Vines for the harsh words he took publicly against citizens, including myself, at meetings. Once again, Rev. Williams comes forward with boneless tongue to her fellow board members. She’s never stopped it, even allowing it to go past time. Many times this past year she’s stopped others from speaking.

I didn’t make it personal.

What I did do: I’ve asked for the board to follow policies and laws. When they didn’t, I called them out for it. Some in the community call this a personal vendetta. I call it accountability.

What I will do: Continue to call out the board if they continue to not follow policy/law and support indoctrination. Unlike Rev. Williams, it’s never been about race for me.

It appears to me, though, that it’s OK for some people to use their powers and positions and get a pass.


Heidi Swartz