Waring's remarks on military troubling

Posted: Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Juneau School Board meeting on Oct. 9 at the Juneau-Douglas High School library was unusually crowded with veterans. They were present to support Sgt. Seth Beebe's request to not allow protesters on school grounds when recruiters are invited.

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In his testimony, Beebe read a brochure created by an anti-military group that held the stance that the military encourages rape of women and children.

These brochures were made available to JDHS students through the career center. Beebe asked that this erroneous literature be removed.

To the astonishment of the room, School Board member Margo Waring voiced her support of these protests and pamphlets.

As a teacher, I am deeply troubled by Waring's stance. Voicing support for this type of hateful behavior to persist on campus is inappropriate. Aggressive adult protesters make the environment unsafe for children attending the school. The safety of the environment need be the only reason to forbid those protests.

As a veteran, I am offended by Waring's remarks. When Waring gave credibility to the "other side of the issue" she coupled veterans in with either being rapists or supporting rape. The venomous inaccuracy of the brochures need be the sole reason that they should not be available in a school setting.

Waring exacerbated her stance by falsely suggesting military recruitment does not serve the mission of education.

Does the military support continued education? Yes. I remember many classes on CPR, navigation, game theory, meteorology and mathematics.

Does the military build contributing members of the community? Yes. Large relief efforts and humanitarian missions are conducted by the military on a daily basis.

For many young men and women graduating high school, the military is one of the best opportunities they have ever been presented. It is a place to continue an education, to receive a steady paycheck and benefits, or to get out of a troubled situation. The military produces critical thinkers and leaders who become successful, productive members of society.

Without the Montgomery G.I. Bill and the self-discipline I learned in the Marine Corps, I would not be a teacher today.

Whether Waring is truly anti-military, or merely playing devil's advocate again, her support of the aggressive on-campus protests is most troubling.

Michael Heiman


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