Superintendent's lawsuit only hurts Jasper district

newsroom@islandpacket.comMay 11, 2014 

This is really unusual. In all my years in the business, I don't remember a school superintendent ever suing a critic for slander or libel.

Being the object of criticism, however harsh or unjust, simply went with the territory for any public official. If you couldn't take the heat, you didn't belong in the kitchen.

You had to hope the ballot box would weed out unscrupulous adversaries.

The object of Jasper County superintendent Vashti Washington's lawsuit is a Jasper County Board of Education member.

Unless his criticism of Washington was outrageously false and intentionally destructive -- which will never be proven in court -- he's allowed.

He may be guilty as sin of indiscretion, bending the truth, and incivility, but all the legal digging, unearthing and publicizing will only tarnish the entire school district.

Joe Lapchick

Hilton Head Island

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