Haines: Student council pans Pardee's comments

Posted: Sunday, February 24, 2002

Remarks by School Board member Terry Pardee likening local conservationists to the terrorist network al-Qaida have drawn fire from the Haines High School student council.

Scott McDowell, a senior at the school and student representative on the School Board, read a statement at Tuesday's meeting decrying the recent comments.

The statement was unanimously approved by student council officers Vanessa Phillips, Penny Fossman and Holly Josephson during an executive board meeting last week.

"The student council wishes to communicate to you that recent statements made by certain school board members comparing Haines community members to the terrorist group al-Qaida, and jokes about settling disputes with hand grenades, to be irresponsible and ironic," the statement said.

"We are a gun-free school district, and the high school promotes cooperation and good citizenship. As school board members, you are role models and are looked upon as leaders of our community. Such comments only degrade your reputation. We consider this to be a very serious issue, and wish the school board to do so as well," it said.

The council's statement generated no discussion, but School Board member Rich Kaloostian commented, "I in no way have agreed with Terry Pardee. I certainly don't believe (Pardee's comments), and I'm telling you right here and now."

Pardee, who usually attends board meetings via telephone from his National Guard post in Ketchikan, did not participate in the Feb. 12 session.

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