News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Steve White should step aside in District 4 race

Whether they succeed or fail, voters like to think they elect people to public office who exercise good judgment.

One candidate running on the Democratic ticket for the Legislature made it easy for most people to evaluate his lack of maturity. He's Steve White, an eighth-grade science teacher at West Limestone High School who allowed his enthusiasm for politics to take on an ugly face.

The teacher is now on administrative leave after the controversy over his showing last month of an Internet film that contains vulgarity toward Bush administration officials won't go away.

Mr. White is running unopposed for the nomination in the Limestone/Morgan District 4 House seat held by first-term Republican Micky Hammon of Decatur.

The most recent opinion poll results show a majority of Americans probably agree with the filmstrip's message, but Mr. White won't find many people agreeing with what he did. Elementary and secondary schools are not the place for partisan politics, especially when the teacher is a candidate for public office.

Even if Mr. White felt he needed to discuss current events with his science students, a stretch, he missed an opportunity to elevate the discussion rather than foster the crass dialogue that students see on television talk shows and the Internet.

Mr. White's conduct was juvenile. He should step down and allow party officials to appoint a replacement. Voters deserve a viable alternative to Mr. Hammon, who needs to spend his campaign time defending and promoting his four years in representing District 4.

At this point, Mr. White has wounds in both feet that probably won't heal by primary election day.

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