State School official’s reference to ‘alcoholic rednecks’ upsets Lincoln County

By Beth Vorhees and Anna Sale

State school board members, including first lady Gayle Manchin, made a trip down to Lincoln County last night (Tuesday) to try to mend fences with local school officials 

State Schools Superintendent Steve Paine, first lady Manchin, and state school board President Delores Cook attend the regularly-scheduled meeting after a local paper ran a story about derogatory remarks a state education official reportedly made about the county.

The Lincoln Journal reported last week that Kenna Seal, head of the state Office of Performance Audits, referred to Lincoln Countians as “four-wheel riding, dope-smoking, alcoholic rednecks.” The story quoted anonymous sources from a meeting Seal had with principals on October 1st.

Seal says he was misquoted. Still, he apologized to Lincoln County principals in a letter last week. Seal says he was trying to make the point that Lincoln County isn’t the only county that has to deal with risk-taking behavior, and that shouldn’t be an excuse for poor performance.

In this segment, you’ll hear Kenna Seal’s explanation. We also speak to Lincoln County School Board member Thomas Ramey about the meeting and the disappointment he continues to have with Seal.

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