Since 1952 I have been an avid fan of the Union Springs Herald. As I have read the Herald, I have been encouraged to see many of the things my dad taught me come to pass. My dad, Bernard Tew, was known by many from different perspectives.

Many people in Union Springs knew him from his work as a volunteer at the nutrition site; others knew him as the Sunday school director/deacon at Eastside Baptist Church, while others knew him as the Watkins/Old 97 man.

My dad taught me that I was to love everyone and treat everyone fair and respectfully. He also taught me to forgive others and to realize people can and do change. When I was a teenager, he taught me to respect authority. Dad told me that if I should ever get stopped by a policeman (and I have quite a few times) to put my hands where they can be seen and to always, no matter what, speak respectfully.

Regardless of a person’s situation, I believe this is always the best initial response to our “men in blue”.

However, with all that being said, I have become a bit discouraged by the action or lack of action regarding Mr. Willie Spears for whom I am a fan. I believe he is my brother in Christ who has recently faced some persecution for unknown reasons.

As a former educator in some very diverse schools, as well as being a father, grandfather, and believer I have come to realize what I believe are some of our biggest problems in America. First and foremost as Mr. Spears seemed to imply, we must see one another without regard to race.

Second, everything begins with the heart and only God can make those repairs. Again, Mr. Spears seemed to see that as a priority. Thirdly, Mr. Spears talked about us all making a difference. What kind of difference! Well, let me say what I think.

In layman’s terms, there seems to be a lack of respect for others who might think differently from us. As a father, I must ask myself, have I done all I can do to teach my children respect for others.

Have I taught them to take responsibility for their actions. I am doing my best to teach my children love instead of hate. I challenge all fathers to join me in trying to make a difference.

To sum things up, I respectfully ask the Bullock County Board of Education to do two things; (1) Bring back Willie Spears, or if that is not possible, bring in someone with his same values. (2) Please get your mission statement grammatically correct. (Either drop the “a” in the beginning or the” s” on the word environments).

Thank you and may God bless.

Jerry “Tiger” Tew

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