Gabe Hart

Gabe Hart

Gabe Hart is chief communications officer for Haywood County Schools and a former teacher of English and Literature. He writes a monthly op-ed column for The Jackson Sun as well as feature stories for the quarterly journal, "Our Jackson Home." He also serves on the education committee for the newly formed Jackson Equity Project which seeks to advocate for equity and justice for marginalized, disenfranchised, and oppressed people living in Jackson. Beyond writing and teaching, Gabe enjoys spending time with his fourteen year old daughter, exercising, and listening to music (specifically The National and Jason Isbell.)

Flowers and stuffed animals piled in a memorial to victims of the March 27 mass shooting at Covenant School in Nashville. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Processing a tragedy and looking for solutions in the middle

By: - April 24, 2023

One month ago, the shooting at the Covenant School took six innocent lives —three children and three adults. It feels like it’s been a year. Normally, after an event of this magnitude takes place, I’m ready to come out fighting – attacking the keyboard with ferocity – about what should or shouldn’t be done; about […]

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Tennessee’s third-grade reading assessment law is misguided

By: - January 9, 2023

In the glamorous world of public education, August — not January — is the genesis of a new year. Resolutions are made. Goals are set. Even the bathrooms in a middle school smell okay. I’ve never cared for August, though. There’s the awkward period of time struggling to learn students’ names and personalities. Hot weather […]

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Tennessee politics has become a one-sided boxing match that exhausts all participants

By: - November 29, 2022

Three years ago — three months into my 40’s — I had my midlife crisis. A friend of mine had mentioned a boxing gym that he really liked, so I decided to try it out. I went to the heavy bag classes and even learned a few combinations. Some jabs, hooks and kicks to a […]

A Pride parade images its way down iconic Beale Street on June 4 in Memphis, Tennessee. (© Photo by Karen Pulfer Focht/Tennessee

Jackson’s casualties of the culture war

By: - October 6, 2022

I’ve been spending a lot of time on social media doom scrolling. I don’t do this on purpose; it’s just that I’m slapped in the face with it every time I open Twitter or Facebook.   For the uninitiated, doom scrolling is the process of sliding your thumb up and down your screen as you are […]

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Tennessee fails to address need for more Black educators

By: - September 1, 2022

The end of August begins to bring a sense of normalcy to the awkward tension that always exists at the beginning of each school year, as teachers and students find ways to understand and relate to one another.  Like any human interaction, trust has to be built for a relationship to grow and, to learn […]

Gov. Bill Lee talks with students at Haywood High School on Sept. 28 2021. (Photo: Official photo of Gov. Bill Lee)

Career educator: Tennessee Gov. Lee fooled me into thinking he cares about public education

By: - July 14, 2022

In September, I accepted a position as the Chief Communications Officer for Haywood County Schools in Brownsville, Tenn.  For anyone unfamiliar, Brownsville is the home of singer Tina Turner, the Hatchie River, and is about 30 miles east of Memphis.  Since last fall, though, its identity has been found as the new home of Ford’s […]

A Pride parade on iconic Beale Street June 4 in Memphis, Tennessee. Gay people and the people who love them came out to celebrate Pride month. (© Photo by Karen Pulfer Focht/Tennessee Lookout)

Madison County “culture war” is a fight worth having

By: - June 21, 2022

Since the beginning of time, relationships between humans have existed in many other forms and fashions other than monogamous, heterosexual affiliations.  Until recently, however, those relationships were not equally recognized from a legal perspective or carried the same weight of acceptance from a broad portion of society.  The strides that have been made over the […]

The sign outside the Southern Baptist Convention headquarters in Nashville. (Photo: Eric Glenn for Shutterstock)

Commentary: Southern Baptist Convention silences women

By: - May 31, 2022

For the first 25 years of my life, I attended church religiously.  I was an active member of the youth group in a Southern Baptist church.  I enrolled in college at Union University—a conservative, Southern Baptist institution.  When I graduated, I became the youth minister at my home church, and eventually a deacon at the […]

Donkey and elephant in front of American flag. (Getty Images)

Commentary: Threatening voters in open primaries is anti-democratic

By: - May 2, 2022

My first active experience in the election process was voting in the presidential election in 2000 when George W. Bush was running against Al Gore.  I was a senior at Union University — a highly conservative, Southern Baptist university in Jackson, Tenn.  I didn’t really do any research on the candidates because as a good […]

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Commentary: Investing in Tennessee’s children is long overdue

By: - April 19, 2022

My girlfriend lives in southeast Pennsylvania, so every other Friday I hop on a plane in Nashville and fly up.  This past weekend, we were at a party in Philadelphia and during the course of conversation with a group of people, I mentioned that I lived in Tennessee.  I got a side-eye from one person, […]

East High School in Memphis. (Photo: Karen Pulfer Focht)

Commentary: That’s what the money’s for

By: - January 5, 2022

There’s a scene in an episode of the television series “Mad Men” that I haven’t been able to get out of my head recently.  In the scene, anti-hero Don Draper is working late on a Friday night because he’s miserable and wants to make everyone else miserable, too.  Copywriter Peggy Olsen is also staying late […]

A Metro Nashville Public Schools bus. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Commentary: Regressive discipline policy in Jackson-Madison County Schools is wrong direction

By: - November 8, 2021

Up until about a month ago, my work days were spent in the presence of 20-25 adolescents who were navigating changing bodies, volatile emotions, teen angst, and the best way to learn the latest TikTok dances.  In other words, I was a middle school teacher – arguably the most challenging job in the world of […]