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John Knox Is Running for School Board

University of Georgia geography professor John Knox is running for Clarke County school board.

Knox, an Eastside resident and father of a Cedar Shoals High School graduate, is seeking the District 8 seat being vacated by David Huff, who is not running for re-election.

He made the announcement at a PTO forum on the alleged sexual assault at Cedar Shoals Wednesday night.

“Both the incident and the ‘culture of silence’ that kept nearly everyone in the dark for weeks are completely unacceptable,” he said in a statement released this morning. “They create a climate of fear, and teachers can’t teach and students can’t learn under such circumstances.

“The District 8 community wants sexual violence out of our schools and education about healthy relationships in our schools. I promise to champion this so that the public’s voice gets heard on this crucial issue.”

Knox cited two other campaign issues, as well:

• Gov. Nathan Deal’s “opportunity school district” proposal to take over schools the state deems to be “failing,” including Gaines Elementary, which will be on the ballot in November. Knox said he is concerned the proposal will adversely affect  schools in “socio-economically depressed” areas, and those schools could be rum by for-profit corporations rather than local communities.

• Finding a replacement for Superintendent Phil Lanoue, who is taking over the Fulton County system May 1. Knox said an interim superintendent who is not a candidate to hold the position permanently should be hired, and a nationwide search undertaken to find a permanent superintendent.

Knox has served on the boards of several educational and religious organizations. He was named Georgia Professor of the Year by CASE/Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 2014.

A campaign kickoff event is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23 at Cali-n-Tito’s.

The District 8 seat is one of four that’s up for grabs this May. In District 4, Carl Parks has also said he won’t run for re-election. Board president Charles Worthy in District 6 and District 2 representative Vernon Payne are also up for re-election.