To the Editor,
I read with interest your recent article about Jim Robert’s proposal to rename the Flat Rock Elementary School (“County sidesteps school name change,” Mount Airy News, Dec. 7). While I certainly appreciate Mr. Roberts desire to honor our beloved teacher, I do not support the proposal to rename the school.
Please don’t think I am opposed to honoring Mrs. Beasley. She was my third grade teacher and I loved her dearly as did any child who had her as a teacher or was in any of the programs/plays she directed. She was an amazing woman who to this day is my heroine. She gave the ultimate sacrifice for Larry Adams.
When you think about it she gave her life to save Larry, but symbolically she gave her life for all her children. If you visit her gravesite in the Oakview Cemetery on North Main Street and read her tombstone you will read these words…”13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13”. To phrase it another way “Greater love hath no teacher than this, that a teacher lay down her life for her students”.
I am very much in favor of honoring Mrs. Beasley in some way other than renaming the school.
I may be a little old fashioned, but Flat Rock Elementary School serves as a symbol of the community of Flat Rock and the people who live there. I personally credit the wonderful people of Flat Rock with making me the man I am today. It was the people of Flat Rock who made Flat Rock Elementary the best school environment a kid could grow up in. It was the people of Flat Rock who rallied when tragedy struck that fateful day in February 1957.
It was the people of Flat Rock who kept the faith and faithfully prayed for six little kids who would have otherwise perished. It was the people of Flat Rock who enveloped the Flat Rock Six when we left the hospital after months of treatment and returned to the “normal” world. We were frightened to even go outdoors, but the people of Flat Rock protected us, nurtured us and helped us to achieve some form of normalcy.
Flat Rock was not a prominent or wealthy community in the eyes of the world. But it was filled with people who cared. To me, Flat Rock Elementary School was the unifying institution. Almost everybody had some kind of connection with the school.
I vote to keep the name of the school the same and find some other way to honor Mrs. Beasley.
Frank Hensley Jr.