Treatment of Hooten has been deplorable

Thursday, July 12, 2018 6:04 PM

Please let me add to Eleanor Macfarlane’s concern (Journal, June 25) about what has happened with Tom Hooten.

If I sent in a story about three boys in school who started to pick on one of their fellow students, you would be concerned – when they took money and books from him; interfered with him getting to school; surrounded him with other kids who just followed the first three boys in their treatment of the one; and finally, locked him out of school altogether, most of you, I hope, would be outraged.

You would wonder what the school administration was doing and why they hadn’t stopped these bullies from this behavior.

Take this same story and substitute our county commissioners as the bullies, our county extension agent, Tom Hooten, as the student being attacked, the advisory committee, as other children ignoring the bullies’ bad behavior and the county manager as the ineffective administrator. Now, do you have the some concern and outrage?

If you don’t, you should. Bullying is bullying, and the actions the commissioners have taken toward Tom Hooten, personally and professionally, are inappropriate, unprofessional and inexcusable. Whatever and whoever started this campaign against the extension office and those of you who continue to allow the county commissioners to behave in this way should be ashamed. It’s time to say “Enough!”

A hostile work environment is unacceptable, and those who create such a situation are the ones who should be removed from office and locked out.

Ann Tatnall