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Sarasota Thursday, Apr. 12, 2018 1 year ago

Knight, Robinson know better

Have they tarnished their reputations?
by: Matt Walsh Editor & CEO

Surely Sarasota County School Board member Eric Robinson and Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight have been watching the national news lately. And like most of us, they had to be shaking their heads at the two FBI officials — Peter Strzok and Lisa Page — whose running stream of anti-Trump text messages have been plastered all over the national media.

How could they be so foolish — especially in their positions — to be sending each other such volatile text messages? 

By now you would think everyone knows that old rule: Never put on paper or send in digital form anything you would not want to see on the front page of the newspaper.

But alas, it still happens. A lot. And not just in Washington, D.C.

Sarasota County School Board Member Eric Robinson

Robinson and Knight engaged in their version of foolish text-message conversations March 22. They did so during a board work session regarding who should pay for the additional cost of expanding the safety officers in the district’s elementary schools. 

Among those texts were derogatory comments toward school board members in general and board member Shirley Brown:

“F them,” Robinson wrote in one, “them” being his board colleagues.

The sheriff wrote in one: “I’m shocked that Shirley is so dumb.”

Replied Robinson: “I am not.”

These texts came to light in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune after Robinson and Superintendent Todd Bowden argued at the April 3 board meeting. When Robinson challenged the veracity of Bowden’s comments, Bowden said he would make public Robinson’s text messages to prove his point.


Knight and Robinson know better. And now, as a result, they have tarnished their reputations.

Knight and Robinson know what they should do. If Knight and Robinson are to recover from their lapse in judgment and unprofessional behavior, it would be appropriate at the next board meeting for them to apologize publicly to Brown, board members and Sarasota County residents. 

From our related editorial: Accept responsibility for your actions. Take the high road.

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