School Board following policy on recruiting

Posted: Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I am writing in regard to an article on Oct. 17 about the National Guard recruiter complaining to the Juneau School Board about limiting protest groups' access to Juneau-Douglas High School while military recruitment is underway.

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The quote from the article stated that Sgt. Seth Beebe would like "the protesters to be quelled." I applaud Juneau Superintendent Peggy Cowan's stance that the School Board is following policy regarding this issue, as well it should.

I was watching a program on C-SPAN a few nights ago and was shocked and dismayed upon listening to a woman brag that she had pressured her school board into firing a teacher who had expressed a critical opinion of the Bush administration. There were people applauding her efforts, and I wondered if they realized how un-American such a stance was. It's a shame that people are afraid of voicing an opinion if it means they will lose their jobs or be persecuted. It reminded me of stories I heard growing up about communist Russia or Nazi Germany.

Beebe also stated that the brochures being distributed by protest groups are "touting negative aspects of military training" and should be checked for accuracy.

Indeed, he is correct. Lies and misconceptions are unacceptable on either side of any issue. I am wondering, though, how accurate are the recruiters in helping young, impressionable minds realize the reality of being sent into a war zone. This war is indeed controversial.

There are many veterans of this war and previous wars who have voiced opinions on the current war. Some support the current president and his policies, which I believe have severely eroded many of our constitutional rights.

And there are many who do not support the events of the past six years. That does not make them any less American or patriotic; they are not "phony soldiers" as some would like us to believe. They are exercising their right to voice an opinion, which they did actually fight for. That is American.

I hope I never live in a society where my voice will be "quelled" if my views differ from that of the people around me, especially ones more powerful than I. Laws and policies are created for a reason. Good for you, Juneau School Board.

Colette Hill


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