Polk Patriot Newsletter 5/23

May 23, 2022

Survey Question

Would you expect the Polk County School Board to remove ‘explicit obscene reading material’ from the schools?

[ ] Yes [ ] No


This week’s newsletter focuses on a single issue since this news is so BIG …..

Polk County School Board Chairman Attempts to Silence Criticism with Legal Threats

The following letter was sent to a member of the Polk Community by an attorney representing Michael Ashworth, Chairman, Polk County Board of Education. The identity of the person receiving this letter is being kept confidential …. for now, with permission given to publish the contents in our newsletter .

Please review the letter, then continue reading…

The attorney who wrote this letter appears to be at least one card short of a full deck. His assertion about ‘false and defamatory statements’ is bizarre if not reckless. The recipient of the letter is charged with stating a falsehood. That falsehood being the gibberish you read in the letter. Read it again please. Any clearer? Having attended the meeting personally, I witnessed Mr. Ashworth throw someone out of the meeting. The topic under discussion at that time was the handling of ‘explicit and obscene reading material’ in the high school library. So, the attorney asserts in the letter that “such an action never took place” and that the mere mention of it is defaming. There is video evidence to show otherwise.

Okay, let’ take a moment to review the legal meaning of false and defamatory. According to NC law1, defamation can be broken down into two core types: libel and slander.

Libel: the written or published (videos, text, photographs, or other media) false assertion of fact to a 3rd-party or entity, which ultimately causes harm or injury to another person’s reputation.

Slander: the spoken communication of a false assertion of fact to a third-party or entity, which ultimately causes harm or injury to another person’s reputation.

A little background before concluding. Leading up to the school board meeting on May 9th, some months ago, several parents expressed grave concern about the discovery of at least 16 books in the high school library deemed to be pornographic in nature. The matter was brought to the attention of the school board, Aaron Greene, Superintendent, and Dr. Scweitzer, Principal of the high school. The topic has been addressed at a few recent public school board meetings and at private meetings on school campus. Nothing has been resolved to date. On the evening of May 9th, several parents and citizens attended the meeting to check on progress. Side note, a ‘prayer ‘vigil’ was held just prior to the start of the meeting at the Stearns Education Center appealing to the school board for clarity on this matter. Two local pastors participated.

Okay, back to the letter. In his letter, Mr. Richard Tanker, Attorney, is advising the addressee to cease and desist from making false and defamatory statements about Mr. Ashworth under threat of legal action. Well, as having attended that school board meeting, I can attest and will do so in a written sworn affidavit, that Mr. Ashworth did order law enforcement on duty to throw this individual out and the topic under discussion at that moment concerned the issue of pornography in the high school library.

I would further assert that rather than being defamed by others, Mr. Ashworth defames his own reputation by his own actions. His leadership consists of ordering people to be silent in the boardroom, gaveling down on agenda items and deferring controversial topics to the Superintendent to address. At no time does he reveal any knowledge of the issues and/or willingness to express an opinion on major topics brought up by citizens. His leadership is embarrassingly lacking. Forsaking his role and responsibility to the community of parents and citizens, he remains loyal to a public education system that is known to be heavily influenced by political ideology and lacking in academic priorities. When someone has the audacity in a public forum to ask him questions, he throws them out and sends threatening letters.

Is this the proper way to treat parents and tax-paying citizens? Is this man, Mike Ashworth, the person we want to represent us at the highest level of our education system here in Polk County? You decide. Elections are coming in November and Mike Ashworth is up for re-election.

  1. https://www.minclaw.com/north-carolina-defamation-law-state-guide/

Dick Shaughnessy


Polk County Republican Party

If you wish to comment on this, you can email us at polkncgop@patriotsemail.org. Your comments can be anonymous if you prefer and we will protect your identity.



The next meeting of the Republican Party will be Thu, Jun 9 at 6:00PM. For the summer months (Jun, Jul, Aug), our meetings will be monthly (the 2nd Thursday).

We will have a number of guest speakers throughout the summer, so keep track via our newsletters for dates and times.

Starting in the Fall, we will be needing lots of volunteers to help get out the vote for the Republican Party. Can you help? Email us at polkncgop@patriotsemail.org.


Polk County Republican Party

33 S Peak St, Columbus NC 28722

Mailing: PO Box 448, Columbus NC 28722

Tel. 828.802.1158

Email: polkncgop@patriotsemail.org

Website: polkncgop.org

Social Media: MEWE: POLK NCGOP / GAB: @Polk_GOP


Don’t ever forget ….it’s cool to be conservative!

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