What Will You Read in Tomorrow’s News Sentinel?

Sources close to Community Columnist Joe Rector indicate that in tomorrow’s Knoxville News Sentinel you will read his reason for calling for the resignation of Bill Phillips the Eighth District Knox County School Board Member.

Rector’s reasoning is that the Knox County School District has a zero tolerance policy that has the school board expelling students for weapons charges and for that reason he contends that Phillips MUST resign.

First, of all Knox County had a zero tolerance policy. During the time that Brian Hornback of Brian’s Blog served on the Knox County board the policy was weakened that they simply move a student to an alternative setting. Hornback objected.

Now let us explain why this knee jerk, idiotic reasoning of Rector and the News Sentinel is flawed. Yes, Rector wrote it, but when Jack McElroy publishes it then it becomes his and Scripps position as well.

When a student is found guilty of a zero tolerance offense and is placed in an alternative educational setting it is after a hearing at the student’s zoned school. It also after a Knox County disciplinary hearing authority has conducted a second hearing and presented a recommendation to the entire school board for expulsion or for placement in an alternative educational setting. The board could or could not after they examine the facts expel or place the student in an alternative educational setting. So, there are three incidents to have their case heard along with the evidence and their defense presented.

Mr. Phillips has appeared at one scheduled appearance and those orders have been dismissed. Mr. Phillips must still make an additional appearance and Brian’s Blog anticipates that he will appears and present his defense. So to use the newspaper to disperse and advocate a penalty without his right to appear is inconceivable and a reckless disregard for the law of the land. Innocent until proven guilty, Mr. Rector and Mr. McElroy.

Everything in his column up to this point although idiotic and filled with bias is somewhat harmless because Mr. Phillips is a public figure and malice is difficult to prove. However our source indicates that Rector in tomorrow’s paper calls Mr. Phillips wife out by name and details his belief in what she has done since this unfortunate incident occurred.

We do not believe that Rector has discussed this incident with Mrs. Phillips and for him to assume what she has or is doing makes him what the three letters of assume spell. He and the News Sentinel should have been very careful prior to presenting and now publishing his column in that Mrs. Phillips can and in our opinion should file suit against him, Jack McElroy, Bruce Hartmann, the News-Sentinel and E.W. Scripps for slander and defamation of character. If any one on our staff were trained and licensed as an attorney we would take the case pro-bono (FREE).

Why would the News Sentinel use a community columnist to launch this attack? Because Phillips has not been fearful to call the News sentinel a product of tabloid journalism. He has established himself as an independent on the school board. He is not an elected public servant that kowtows to the school bureaucracy or to the powers that be order in Knoxville and Knox County.

Mr. and Mrs. Phillips were contacted by the Brian’s Blog team concerning this post and they had no comment.

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