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Editorial: Stam’s sexist comment

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With nearly 40 years of professional experience, North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson brings an informed perspective to the table when asked about education issues. Yet, after she recently expressed concern that students at public and private schools will not take the same standardized tests, House Majority Leader Paul “Skip” Stam suggested that Atkinson “should stick to her own knitting.”

Perhaps the Republican leader has grown weary of hearing the relentless criticism of the GOP action on education, but that type of sexist arrogance has no place in the public discourse. North Carolina has a right to expect its public officials to comport themselves with dignity and respect toward others, basic measures of which Stam fell well short.

When the General Assembly negotiated the state budget earlier this year, education was key to the discussion. One controversial measure, pushed by Pitt County’s Rep. Brian Brown, created a voucher system by which low-income families could receive tuition assistance to send their children to public schools. As could be expected, the routing of public dollars to private institutions caused considerable disagreement in Raleigh.

For the complete article, please pick up a copy of The Daily Reflector. Current home delivery and electronic edition subscribers may log in to access this article at no charge. To become a subscriber, please click here or contact Customer Service at (252) 329-9505.


Nice letter

Republicans, shooting themselves in the foot for the last 100 years.

it could be argued

that the writer of this editorial is sexist, in that he/she interpreted "stick to her own knitting" as being a sexist phrase. It most certainly is not, at least not in reasonable circles. Some men knit extensively, for that matter -- run a Google search for "Roosevelt Grier crochet needlepoint" for example. A retired Pro Bowl defensive tackle for the NY Giants and LA Rams in the NFL, Rosey Grier's playing size was 6'5", 284 lbs. Try telling him that needlepoint is women's work. He wrote a book on the subject, Needlepoint for Men, in 1973. It's available at Amazon.com right now. With respect to the editorial, the old saying "When you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail" comes to mind.

So are you saying decent

So are you saying decent manners and politeness are liberal virtues LTP? I'll cop to that. This coarse rhetoric deployed by many on the right of late is disheartening. What happened to reasonable debate? Instead the other side frequently jumps right to personal insults and name calling, with terms like "libtard" and "communist". Even 'ole Newt is calling you guys out:
Gingrich told state party chairs, activists, and operatives at the Republican National Committee summer meeting. “We are caught up right now in a culture – and you see it every single day – where as long as we are negative, as long as we are vicious, as long as we can tear down our opponent, we don’t have to worry, so we don’t. “This is a very deep problem,” he added. “I’m being totally candid with you.”

Why does the reflector have

Why does the reflector have to parrot all the stupid liberal talking points in a mindless never ending fashion? Are you as a group really that dimwitted or do you think that your readers are just that stupid? All your readers are NOT liberals. Why are ALL your writers liberals?

It is refreshing to see the Reflector

It is refreshing to see the Reflector taking an interest in what our state representatives have to say. I must have missed the editorial regarding the comments of Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield, D-Wilson, when she stated on the House floor that the passage of House Bill 4 would “promote more people being in jails, and prison, … increase homelessness and domestic violence, alcohol and substance abuse, the need for more counseling, and cause more suicides and mass killings.” Mass killings might even be more offensive than talking about knitting. Of course Jean is one of the good guys so overlooking her comments is maybe "par for the Reflector course."


Perhaps YOU, should get back to YOUR knitting.

"areyouserious" you are a sexist !!!

using reflector logic

only an fool

would think we was referring to a 30 year old book.

Billyboy , try the bible then, ignorant one

are you serious??

Totally Ignorant editorial and an apology is in order to Stam

I suggest that Al and Brian go to college And possible take a business course and or read IN SEARCH OF EXCELLANCE by Peters. Where the phrase " stick to your knitting" is one of the eight chapters in this book. From Wikipedia "In Search of Excellence is an international bestselling book written by Tom Peters and Robert H. Waterman, Jr.. First published in 1982, it is one of the biggest selling and most widely read business books ever, selling 3 million copies in its first four years, and being the most widely held library book in the United States from 1989 to 2006 (WorldCat data). The book explores the art and science of management used by leading 1980s companies with Peters and Waterman found eight common themes which they argued were responsible for the success of the chosen corporations. The book devotes one chapter to each theme. 6.Stick to the knitting - stay with the business that you know." I do not mind mindless adherence to liberal causes in an editorial but a blatent slam on what is a standard business term for minding your own business is professional misconduct by editors who should know better. You both should be ashamed of yourself for your ignorance displayed in this editorial. Sad!

My first thought

My first thought when reading the article was: Stick to your knitting = Stick to what you know. Thanks for expanding. The saying has been around for many years. Is playing the sexist card going to become as popular as playing the race card?


But Sec. Atkinson's "knitting" is education. She was "minding her own knitting" as defined in your book. Stam's comment was another way (sexist and dismissive) of telling her to "shove it." Neither Mr. Stam nor Mr. Tillis are to be confused by facts. Meanwhile our Speaker of the House is selling seats on university boards for campaign contributions. The only good news is that if he runs for the US Senate, he will be out of the Assembly. The questions remain: if a school accepts vouchers, what are the determinants for admission and expulsion, and should the school teach to the NC Common Core and use the same testing as the public schools? If they take the public's money, the answer is obviously "Yes." If a private school takes in a student who is identified as "learning disabled" will will that school have to develop an IEP for the student and provide daily time with a licensed special education teacher? Under those circumstances, why would a private school accept vouchers? Sec. Atkinson is asking those questions, but Rep. Stam does not want to be bothered.

profbam- legitimate comment IF she is knitting

profbam- legitimate comment IF she is knitting But it is not " sexist" to make the comment Only if she is doing her "business" !! DR made an inflammatory editorial, which is totally out of bounds. proper comment is if the person was right or wrong in his comment. not if it was sexist totally inappropriate

Thank you for this editotial

Your editorial hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately we have reached the point where we can't expect much better from the extremists in our legislature.

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Bless your heart
Bless your heart