Last Friday, I was privileged enough to watch history occur. I am referring to the first entirely student-sponsored gubernatorial debate in U.S. history. The Alaska Association of Student Governments and Spirit of Youth-cosponsored debate occurred at Bartlett High School in Anchorage and was broadcast live, statewide by KTOO TV.
Unfortunately the behavior of Sen. Frank Murkowski nearly ruined this momentous event. He showed a utter lack of respect for this student effort when he arrived, minutes before the debate began, demanding changes in the debate format, despite the fact that this format had been agreed upon, months earlier, by all the candidates.
While the student moderators showed great poise in dealing with this disruption, and Sen. Murkowski's total disregard for time limits, they should never have been put in such an awkward and potentially disastrous position.
He may have preached his admiration for Alaska's youth last Friday, but his behavior demonstrated something closer to contempt for Alaska students. Sen. Murkowski, your actions spoke much louder than your words.
It's time to take responsibility for those actions. I, a leader of tomorrow, demand a public apology for your disrespectful and outright rude behavior.
Sitka High School student
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