I began knowing The Rev. Harry H. Singleton somewhere in the middle 1980s, as he responded to one of my many letters in The Sun News.
He came over to my office dressed to kill: buttoned vest, tight pants, boots which came to the knees, and more. And out of his mouth came a variety of words which one would need a dictionary to interpret. I told him that I understood English and that he did not have to go through this verbal tirade with me.
There is much more that I remember with Rev. Singleton, but what I remember the most was the legal fight he had to keep his job teaching school.
The Horry County Board of Education was to act as the jury, and the superintendent of schools was to act as the prosecution.
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The district superintendent was not to speak to us, the jury. He walked into the room where we were gathered, however, and said that this would get even for the cheerleader incident which had happened a few weeks earlier.
I saw two votes on the Board of Education immediately go against Singleton. So I knew that this was a setup before it even began, but I kept my mouth shut at this point. The supposed trial lasted a full two days.
When it was over, I asked the chairman of the board if I might speak, and I was given that permission. I told everyone, the many newspapers, television reporters (including CNN), and others, what happened earlier in the room with the superintendent.
The superintendent’s lawyer ran back and forth in front of everyone, telling me loudly to “shut up,” but I kept right on reading my statement. Singleton was grinning from ear to ear. I finished my statement, and knew that if this was appealing to state court that this would nullify the ruling, but Singleton’s lawyer took it to federal court and won it there on Constitutional grounds.
I now know what the Scopes Monkey Trial was really all about. It was about “truth,” and in this case Singleton was being used as a victim.
I have nothing but praise for the Rev. H.H. Singleton, because he knew what he was getting into before he started, but he wouldn’t let “his people” to be used, again.
During the ‘70s and ‘80s he was the most intelligent man in Horry County, and I will miss him greatly.
Harry talked to Jim, you see. Rev. Singleton didn’t talk to Dr. Dunn.
The writer, an Horry County school board member from 1988 to 1992, lives in Myrtle Beach.