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Barfield can't speak at schools

No reason given for decision by Brewer

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POSTED: May 2, 2007 5:02 a.m.

Bryan County School Superintendent Dr. Sallie Brewer reportedly won't let Jack Barfield IV speak at Bryan County schools about the dangers of reckless driving.

"We tried to set it up for Barfield to speak at the proms on both ends of the county," Bryan County Sheriff Clyde Smith said. "We get very little cooperation from the school hierarchy."

Earlier this month, Judge A. Ronnie Rahn sentenced Barfield to serve 30 months with 20 years probation. Barfield also was instructed to do at least 200 hours of community service and speak to area high school students about his case for the next 20 years after a 2005 wreck that claimed the lives of Ginger and Garrett Reagin.

Smith said Brewer’s denial to allow Barfield to speak at Bryan County schools will be turned over to Rahn, but the decision is hers.

Brewer could not be reached for comment, but her apparent decision has upset members of both the Barfield and Reagin families.

They said that it would be perhaps the one good thing resulting from the tragedy and might have made a dramatic positive impact on students.

"I am shocked," said Reagin relative Susie Tompkins. "Numerous school systems throughout this state have used the same type testimony with a very positive response. The fact that the teenagers of Bryan County have an opportunity to hear from someone they know would make it even more credible. I just don’t understand how she could make this decision without a vote from the board."

"With last month’s vehicular tragedy in Pembroke that claimed the lives of those three precious girls, people all over Bryan County have expressed concerns about reckless driving among young people lately," Tompkins continued. "The timing is ideal for Jack to speak to the high school kids about this. He could potentially save lives here."

"We didn’t know until Thursday that she (Brewer) said no," said Robin Barfield, Jack’s mother. "Jackie would have had a great impact on the class of this and next year because the kids know him and it would’ve hit home for them, not only in Pembroke but in Richmond Hill also because he played sports there a lot. I’m disappointed."

 

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