Archived Story

Hope Blythe gets answers

Published 1:32pm Saturday, August 25, 2012

We can only hope that Franklin Councilman Don Blythe can get answers for this summer’s absence of Superintendent Dr. Michelle Belle.

The matter is among issues Blythe hopes to discuss when City Council and the School Board meet together at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, in City Hall.

All The Tidewater News could find out after numerous attempts about Belle’s more than two-month absence is that it was due to a doctor’s orders.

Anytime we questioned the administration or school board, neither would comment, claiming it was personnel and they didn’t need to comment. Repeated phone calls were made to Belle, all of which went unreturned.

The only time her absence was acknowledged was during a July School Board meeting when Associate Director of Instruction Beverly Rabil was designated to act on Belle’s behalf during her absence.

We understand Belle has since returned to work.

Blythe’s not afraid to ask questions in hopes of getting an answers. When the school district’s top-ranking official is absent for an extended time, the public deserves to know why. After all, our taxes pay her $98,000 annual salary.

Keep us posted, Don.


  • employee2

    There are policies for other city employee’s that require a second doctor to confirm the diagnosis.

    Suggest Removal

  • Akari

    I agree that it is really none of our business as to why she was out. She had doctor’s orders and the rest is private.

    Suggest Removal

  • mileomore

    I hope we can get some answers to the superintendant’s absence, too. Of course, if she really lived in Franklin as is required of her position, her absence may not have been felt as much. She may have actually felt up to coming in to her office every once and a while over the past two+ months. We, the taxpayers who are paying her hefty salary, deserve so much better. I had such high hopes for this lady, but as yet she has not shown me a thing! And, in case you didn’t know SHOCKED, it’s not difficult to get doctor’s orders on something like that… it’s all in who you know.

    Suggest Removal

    • nativegirl

      “Hefty salary”-are you kidding me? Teachers and administrators are the most underpaid and under appreciated people in this state, along with firemen and law enforcement officers. You should be thanking Dr. Belle for coming to Franklin and trying to fix a broken system instead of berating her for taking time off for medical reasons which, by the way, are really none of your business or mine.

      Suggest Removal

  • shocked

    DOCTOR’S ORDERS is all we need to know!!

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  • SandMan

    Once again, I’m not trying to be the grammar police, but who is Hope Blythe? Which answers did Hope Blythe get?
    Isn’t it ironic how this article is about a missing educator?

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  • granddiva1220

    As a stakeholder of FCPS, I am simply delighted that Dr. Belle is healthy enough to return to work, looks great, and seems ready to lead her team to tackle the challenges ahead. Dr. Belle’s return to health and to the helm seems so much more newsworthy and celebratory than what this article has offered, and I know it doesn’t compromise HIPPA laws of Disclosure.

    Suggest Removal

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