Social media is not the public square

Think Facebook’s ban of Donald Trump is justified? It’s a fascinating issue, one that gets to the heart of the differences between the internet and more traditional news sources like television, radio and newspapers.

School board undergoes bias training

The Haywood County School Board and central office administration will undergo unconscious bias training on Tuesday, Jan. 26. The training has been scheduled as part of the plan, created by Superintendent Dr. Bill Nolte in response to the situation created by a Facebook post of Nolte’s last year. 

Anti-mask, anti-vax views raise concerns

One of the loudest voices against masks and vaccines during recent public comment sessions in Haywood County also serves on a nonprofit health care board that’s charged with managing more than $12 million of taxpayer money meant to support public health. 

‘Whee want change’: WCU students call for policy changes following racially charged videos

Five Western Carolina University students are no longer enrolled at the school after appearing in a pair of videos that featured racial slurs and surfaced on social media the first weekend after classes began. The university community showed overwhelming support for the students’ departure from campus during a march held Wednesday, Aug. 26, drawing more than 800 people. 

Student videos with racist language spark anger at WCU

A pair of videos that appeared on social media over the weekend elicited strong reaction from many in the Western Carolina University community who decried their contents as racist. 

Plenty of room in the arena

I became aware of a Facebook group recently called “Finding Solutions — Waynesville.” On the surface it appeared this group was looking for solutions to the town’s social issues of homelessness and addiction, so I joined in so I could observe and perhaps offer valuable resources to the discussion — after all, The Smoky Mountain News has covered these issues extensively in the last several years.

‘She just slipped through our fingers’

At 13, Tuscola High School freshman Elira Bego-Cardoso was like almost any other American teenage girl — she liked popular music, boys, hanging out with friends and chatting on social media. 

Elira, however, wasn’t like every other teenage American girl. She was different. 

Campaign rhetoric criticized in Jackson

A May blog post titled “Chairman Mao or is it Chairman Mau?” was the topic of an impassioned statement Jackson County Commissioner Ron Mau read during a Nov. 19 commissioners meeting.

Haywood Republicans again stung by social media

More and more, Facebook is becoming a place not only to catch up with friends, read the news and look at pictures of cats, it’s also becoming a place where one can get into a lot of political trouble. 

The pendulum will swing — it has to

Would you turn your back on a long and meaningful friendship because of widening political differences? I won’t do it, and I don’t understand people who would. 

The gun control debate is the perfect example. It’s as polarizing and divisive issue as there is, especially after what happened two weeks ago at a high school in Parkland, Florida. 

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