Imbalance in the schools?
November 17, 2005
Dear Editor:As a parent and a taxpayer, I share the concern of many that a group called “Wheels of Justice,” with a dual message of protesting the Iraq war and advocating a Palestinian perspective, was recently given access to high schools in the Roaring Fork Valley.While students can benefit from being exposed to a variety of viewpoints, these are best presented in context, with more than one side represented. Schools should understand that young minds often confer legitimacy on any speaker or organization given access to the campus and/or classroom, so it behooves faculty and administration to know more about a group like “Wheels of Justice” than its self-description.”Wheels of Justice” is a bus tour which has traveled across the country with a mission to “educate North Americans on the occupation of Palestine and Iraq” since July 2003. The group has presented a biased, anti-Israeli view of the Middle East during hundreds of visits to churches, high schools, libraries and college and university campuses, promoting its distinctly one-sided interpretation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.While this group claims to embrace peace, it is also closely aligned with several organizations that justify terrorism, and is often represented by speakers who are committed to anything but peace and justice in the Middle East.Young people require guidance in developing the ability to distinguish between fact and opinion. Was such guidance provided before “Wheels of Justice” made its presentations in this area? What provisions were made for the presentation of an alternative perspective? Doug WeiserOld Snowmass