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Dear Reader,

I hope this letter finds you in good health and high spirits. I am writing to you as a concerned citizen of Bladen County, deeply committed to the values of truth, loyalty, and respect that our community holds dear. It is with this dedication in mind that I wish to address recent events involving a member of our community and the Bladen County Schools.

For nearly four decades, the Johnson family has been an integral part of Bladen County Schools, exemplifying these values through their tireless dedication to the education and well-being of our children. Whether through the guidance and protection offered by Hattie Johnson at East Bladen, the decades of teaching from Gabriel “Johnson” Corbett, or my own 25-plus years as an educator and administrator, we have strived to leave a positive mark on the lives of countless students in our county.

It’s important to note that despite the various names we may have used over the years, we are all Johnsons at heart, and our strength lies in standing together as a family, both by blood and by shared values. I believe that the vast majority of parents in this county can attest to the positive impact a Johnson has had on their child’s development.

However, recent events involving Board member Harfel Davis have left our family deeply hurt and disheartened. Mr. Davis’s disrespectful and offensive behavior towards my sister, Crystal Johnson Mathis, is not only an affront to her but to our entire family and the legacy of our beloved mother, Hattie Johnson. We were raised to be respectful, educated, and compassionate individuals, and we expect nothing less from those in positions of leadership and influence within our community.

As citizens of Bladen County, we have a responsibility to hold our elected officials to the highest standards of conduct, both in their official roles and within our community at large. It is disheartening to learn that Mr. Davis, who also serves as a leader in our church, has displayed such behavior. We implore our fellow community members to carefully consider the character and values of those they support and vote for in the future.

In conclusion, I believe that we can do better as a community, and it begins with holding our leaders accountable for their actions and words. The Johnson family will continue to uphold the principles of truth, loyalty, and respect that have guided us for generations. I hope that our community will join us in this endeavor, striving for a brighter and more respectful future for Bladen County Schools.


Demetrice Johnson Simpson

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