'Bong Hits' draws attention to erosion of personal freedoms

Posted: Friday, June 29, 2007

As a former teacher in Juneau (1965 to 1971), I have been following the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" protest and struggle with great interest.

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I am glad to see the tradition of protesting and maintaining freedoms and rights is still alive and well among some students and other individuals in the Juneau community.

In the 1960s and '70s the issues were war, abuse of authority, human rights (including student rights), the Bill of Rights, honesty and integrity of those who serve the public, the quality of education, and most certainly freedom of expression. These issues continue today, and continue to need our attention.

The "Bong" sign and the attempts to preserve the right to display a "Bong" sign are worthy and important steps in bringing this attention to what appears to be the ongoing erosion of personal freedoms. I am proud of the individuals committed to this effort.

Whereas the priorities in this issue are freedom of expression, student rights, the limits of authority and the valuing of diversity, one cannot help but appreciate the means of stating these priorities. Just below the surface of seriousness there lies a delicious bit of humor. How can anyone keep from enjoying the comedy in the expression "Bong Hits 4 Jesus"? This is truly funny!

There is a special creativity in those who can combine the serious and the humorous. Well done!

My best wishes to the students of Juneau-Douglas High School. Keep those around you honest.

John C. Anderson

Issaquah, Wash.

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